Development of an Inverted Pendulum System for Investigating Fluidic Thrust Vectoring Control

Alexander Colli


Small satellites have seen an increase in recent years, and their use has been proposed in active space debris removal, which demands motors capable of high delta-Vs and precise attitude control. However, existing methods for attitude control impose relatively high mass and volume penalties when used for small-scale applications. Fluidic thrust vectoring is being investigated as a possible solution to this problem. The inverted pendulum problem was chosen to represent a highly simplified case of fluidic thrust vectoring in order to investigate how such a thrust vectoring method may be controlled, with the secondary aim of developing an educational tool for teaching control at UNSW Canberra introduced during the project. The system was simulated in MATLAB® Simulink™ to determine suitable control and hardware parameters for both PID and Fuzzy Logic Control, and two iterations of a physical system capable of achieving the calculated outputs were constructed. Both control methods were then demonstrated on each iteration with varying success.

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