Flexible spacecraft dynamics (FSD)

The Flexible Spacecraft Dynamics and Control program (FSD) was developed to aid in the simulation of a large class of flexible and rigid spacecraft. FSD is extremely versatile and can be used in attitude dynamics and control analysis as well as in-orbit support of deployment and control of spacecraft. FSD has been used to analyze the in-orbit attitude performance and antenna deployment of the RAE and IMP class satellites, and the HAWKEYE, SCATHA, EXOS-B, and Dynamics Explorer flight programs.

FSD is applicable to inertially-oriented spinning, earth oriented, or gravity gradient stabilized spacecraft. The spacecraft flexibility is treated in a continuous manner (instead of finite element) by employing a series of shape functions for the flexible elements. Torsion, bending, and three flexible modes can be simulated for every flexible element. FSD can handle up to ten tubular elements in an arbitrary orientation. FSD is appropriate for studies involving the active control of pointed instruments, with options for digital PID (proportional, integral, derivative) error feedback controllers and control actuators such as thrusters and momentum wheels.

The input to FSD is in four parts:

  1. Orbit Construction. FSD calculates a Keplerian orbit with environmental effects such as drag, magnetic torque, solar pressure, thermal effects, and thruster adjustments; or the user can supply a GTDS format orbit tape for a particular satellite/timespan;
  2. Control words - for options such as gravity gradient effects, control torques, and integration ranges;
  3. Mathematical descriptions of spacecraft, appendages, and control systems- including element geometry, properties, attitudes, libration damping, tip mass inertia, thermal expansion, magnetic tracking, and gimbal simulation options; and
  4. Desired state variables to output, i.e., geometries, bending moments, fast Fourier transform plots, gimbal rotation, filter vectors, etc.

All FSD input is of free format, namelist construction. ( NASA Goddard Space Flight Center )

This program was released by NASA through COSMIC as GSC-13006. The italicized text above is from the official NASA release.