A Comparison of Three Approximate Mathematical Models for the Gravity Gradient Stabilized Satellite

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics


This study compared an exact nonlinear model for the gravity gradient satellite to the two classical approximate models the linearized and truncated nonlinear models typically used for analysis of the motion and stability of gravity gradient satellites. Rigid body dynamics using molecular mass models and circular orbits were assumed to isolate the comparison to the different models. The complete equations of motion of the exact nonlinear model resulted in more complex motions about the classical points of relative equilibria. Gravity Gradient, Artificial Satellite, Satellite Stability, Euler Angles, Satellite Control, Gravity Torque.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number

ADA273832 *


* AFIT Scholar currently provides a citation-only record for this thesis. The DTIC record for the thesis is linked above for the user to check back on availability at that portal.

This document is currently not available here.