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Combined optimal estimation and control techniques are applied for the first time to satellite tracking systems. Both radio antenna and optical tracking systems of NASA are considered. The optimal estimation is accomplished using an extended Kalman filter, resulting in an estimated state of the satellite and of the tracking system. This estimated state constitutes an input to the optimal controller. The optimal controller treats a linearized system with a quadratic performance index. The maximum principle is applied and a steady-state approximation to the resulting Riccati equation is obtained. A computer program, RATS, implementing this algorithm is described. A feasibility study of real-time implementation, tracking simulations, and parameter sensitivity studies are also reported.
Date of Publication: Dec 1971