Skip to main content Accessibility help

Attitude Dynamics and Control of Liquid Filled Spacecraft with Large Amplitude Fuel Slosh

  • M.-L. Deng (a1) and B.-Z. Yue (a1)


This paper focuses on the attitude dynamics and control of liquid filled spacecraft, and the large amplitude fuel slosh dynamics is included by using an improved moving pulsating ball model. The moving pulsating ball model is an equivalent mechanical model that is capable of imitating the whole liquid reorientation process, specifically for the occurrence of large amplitude slosh. This model is improved by incorporating a static capillary force and an effective mass factor. The improvements on this model are validated with previously published experiment results. The spacecraft attitude maneuver is implemented by the momentum transfer technique, and the feedback control strategy is designed based on Lyapunov theory. The effects of liquid viscosity, tank location and desired steady time on sloshing torque and control torque are investigated. The attitude control strategy applied in this paper is proved to be applicable for the coupled liquid filled spacecraft system. The obtained conclusions are useful to aid in liquid filled spacecraft overall design.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author (


Hide All
1. Reyhanoglu, M., “Maneuvering Control Problems for a Spacecraft with Unactuated Fuel Slosh Dynamics,” IEEE Control Systems, 1, pp. 695699 (2003).
2. Yue, B. Z. and Zhu, L. M., “Hybrid control of liquid filled spacecraft maneuver by dynamic inversion and input shaping,” AIAA Journal, 52, pp. 618626 (2014).
3. Ahmad, S., Yue, B. Z., Shah, S. F. and Ahmad, S., “Hamilton Structure and Stability Analysis for a Partially Filled Container,” Journal of Mechanics, 29, pp. 7983 (2012).
4. Kang, J. Y. and Lee, S., “Attitude acquisition of a satellite with a partially filled liquid tank,” Journal of Guidance Control and Dynamics, 31, pp. 790793 (2008).
5. Thomas, S. S., Kang, J. Y. and Victoria, L. C., “Analytical control law for spacecraft reorientation via Lyapunov theory,” AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference, Canada (2010).
6. Yang, D. D., Yue, B. Z., Wu, W. J., Song, X. J. and Zhu, L. M., “Attitude maneuver of liquid-filled spacecraft with a flexible appendage by momentum wheel,” Acta Mechanica Sinica, 28, pp. 543550 (2012).
7. Berry, R. L. and Tegart, J. R., “Experimental study of transient liquid motion in orbiting spacecraft,” NASA Report, NASA-CR-144213 (1976).
8. Dodge, F. T., “The New Dynamic Behavior of Liquids in Moving Containers,” NASA Report, SP-106 (2000).
9. Vreeburg, J. P. B. and Chato, D. J., “Models for Liquid Impact Onboard Sloshsat FLEVO,” AIAA Space 2000 Conference and Exposition, U.S. (2000).
10. Vreeburg, J. P. B., “Dynamics and control of a spacecraft with a moving pulsating ball in a spherical cavity,” Acta Astronautics, 40, pp. 257274 (1997).
11. Monti, R., Physics of Fluids in Microgravity, Taylor and Francis Publishers, London, pp. 293321 (2002).
12. Vreeburg, J. P. B., “Acceleration measurements on Sloshsat FLEVO for liquid force and location determination,” Technic Report, NLR-TP-2000-062, National Aerospace Laboratory, Netherland (2000).
13. Vreeburg, J. P. B., “Measured States of Sloshsat FLEVO,” 56th International Astronautical Congress, Japan (2005).
14. Vreeburg, J. P. B., “Free Motion of an Unsupported Tanks that is Partially Filled with Liquid,” Microgravity Fluid Mechanics, 92, pp. 519528 (1992).
15. Ibrahim, R. A., Liquid sloshing dynamics theory and applications, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 752762 (2005).
16. Veldman, A. E. P., Gerrits, J., Luppes, R., Helder, J. A. and Vreeburg, J. P. B., “The numerical simulation of liquid sloshing on board spacecraft,” Journal of computational physics, 224, pp. 8299 (2007).
17. Luppes, R., Helder, J. A. and Veldman, A. E. P., “Liquid Sloshing in Microgravity,” 56th International Astronautical Congress, Japan (2005).
18. Yang, D. D. and Yue, B., “Attitude manoeuver of spacecraft with long cantilever beam appendage by momentum wheel,” International Journal of control, 86, pp. 360368 (2013).



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed