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This paper investigates the problem of output feedback attitude control of an uncertain spacecraft. Two robust adaptive output feedback controllers based on Chebyshev neural networks (CNN) termed adaptive neural networks (NN) controller-I and adaptive NN controller-II are proposed for the attitude tracking control of spacecraft. The four-parameter representations (quaternion) are employed to describe the spacecraft attitude for global representation without singularities. The nonlinear reduced-order observer is used to estimate the derivative of the spacecraft output, and the CNN is introduced to further improve the control performance through approximating the spacecraft attitude motion. The implementation of the basis functions of the CNN used in the proposed controllers depends only on the desired signals, and the smooth robust compensator using the hyperbolic tangent function is employed to counteract the CNN approximation errors and external disturbances. The adaptive NN controller-II can efficiently avoid the over-estimation problem (i.e., the bound of the CNNs output is much larger than that of the approximated unknown function, and hence, the control input may be very large) existing in the adaptive NN controller-I. Both adaptive output feedback controllers using CNN can guarantee that all signals in the resulting closed-loop system are uniformly ultimately bounded. For performance comparisons, the standard adaptive controller using the linear parameterization of spacecraft attitude motion is also developed. Simulation studies are presented to show the advantages of the proposed CNN-based output feedback approach over the standard adaptive output feedback approach.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2010