An adaptive sliding mode spacecraft attitude controller is derived in this paper. It has the advantage of not requiring knowledge of the inertia of the spacecraft, and rejecting unexpected external disturbances, with global asymptotic position and velocity tracking. The sliding manifold is designed using optimal control analysis of the quaternion kinematics. The sliding mode control law and the parameter adaptation law are designed using Lyapunov stability. Numerical simulations are performed to demonstrate both the nominal and the robust performance.

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