Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Costantinos Zagaris, PhD


Satellite attitude reorientation has been of significant interest in astronautical engineering, and being able to reorient in a time-optimal manner has been of exceeding interest since the 1970s. Ensuring a spacecraft mission set can be conducted within a certain amount of time begs the question of whether or not a certain maneuver can be completed with a bounded control. This thesis answers that question by using the concept of reachability to provide reachable sets for different spacecraft reorientation scenarios. The reachable sets generated provide a range of initial states that guarantee a satellite reach a desired end orientation given a certain time constraint. Prior research providing a formal approach of applying reachability to spacecraft attitude maneuvers has not been found. It was found that using Modified Rodriguez Parameters (MRPs) to generate reachable sets is more efficient than other attitude parameterizations. It was also found that the linearized MRP dynamics provide a valid time optimal solution for the true, nonlinear dynamics of medium angle attitude maneuvers. This linearized version of the dynamics was used to formulate an optimal control policy for spacecraft reorientations with bounded controls.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number


Included in

Astrodynamics Commons