Methodology to analyze attitude stability of satellites subjected to aerodynamic torques

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A method to analyze the stability of satellites flying in low Earth orbits is presented. Starting from the classical rotational equations of motion, including gravity gradient, the influence of aerodynamic torques is studied both in the pitch and roll–yaw axes. Applying concepts used to assess aircraft stability, such as stability derivatives, several ideas and recommendations are presented. The work aims to link geometrical properties with attitude response, providing a way to design satellites that actively takes into account environmental torques, either by minimizing them or by utilizing them to meet mission goals.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-449
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number3
Early online date4 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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