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A novel control algorithm for the charge and discharge modes of operation of a flywheel energy storage system for space applications is presented. The motor control portion of the algorithm uses sensorless field oriented control with position and speed estimates determined from a signal injection technique at low speeds and a back electromotive force technique at higher speeds. The charge and discharge portion of the algorithm use command feedforward and disturbance decoupling, respectively, to achieve fast response with low gains. Simulation and experimental results are presented demonstrating the successful operation of the flywheel control up to the rated speed of 60 000 r/min.