Space Structure Dynamics & Control

UCD Space Structure Dynamics and Control capability has been developed in collaboration with ESA over several years and multiple programmes. The groups established heritage is in the following research areas:

  • Active vibration control of flexible space structures
  • Modelling of spacecraft and launcher dynamics including structural flexibility and fuel sloshing
  • Nanosatellite Attitude Determination and Control System [ADCS] testing
  • Design of Light weight space structures with high damping /energy absorption properties
  • Deployment mechanisms design, development, test and qualification
  • Dust evaluation, proofing and mitigation techniques for Lunar robotics
  • Electrodynamic shaking facility and vibration testing methods for monitoring, system identification and detection of features of interest
  • Laser Doppler Vibrometry technique that allows remote, contactless vibration measurement which can be applied in test giving real-time updates on performance to operators
  • High precision micro/nano manufacturing of complex space components

The group has a range of activities supporting these strategic goals, most directly in the support to the EIRSAT-1 programme by the delivery of ADCS capability for the mission. In addition to conventional nanosat ADCS, EIRSAT-1 will also fly a novel Wave Based Control algorithm developed by the group which is one of the first uses of this technology in space. This activity is a pathfinder for further demonstrations of the control of large flexible structures in space and builds upon 10 years of collaboration with ESA in the control of launchers, robotics, and space telescopes. The capability to control these structures is complemented by the additional capability in the group for the design, development, and manufacture of reliable deployment modules for flexible structures.

All of the above is supported by a Space Structure Dynamics and Control laboratory that allows the development and testing of flight algorithms, software and hardware to support advanced ADCS testing.

Work on structural and vibration modelling, multi-physics modelling with its instrumentation, measurement, monitoring and system identification are carried out by Dynamical Systems and Risk Laboratory. Through DSRL, C-Space also has a leadership in Laser Doppler Vibrometry expertise with multi-point scanning capabilities. This is a core technology for non-contact, non-inertial vibration measurement,  monitoring and system identification  leading to many space applications and eventual digital twinning, with real-time capabilities for operators.

C-Space looks forward to exploring how we can work together in these areas in both industrial and research collaborations.

Space Structure Dynamics and Control research in UCD includes detailed control theory and hands-on hardware development [Credit: D.McKeown]