Modern Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control

Modern Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control

From System Modeling to AI and Innovative Applications

1st Edition - November 13, 2022

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  • Editors: Vincenzo Pesce, Andrea Colagrossi, Stefano Silvestrini
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323909167
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323909174

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Modern Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control: From System Modeling to AI and Innovative Applications provides a comprehensive foundation of theory and applications of spacecraft GNC, from fundamentals to advanced concepts, including modern AI-based architectures with focus on hardware and software practical applications. Divided into four parts, this book begins with an introduction to spacecraft GNC, before discussing the basic tools for GNC applications. These include an overview of the main reference systems and planetary models, a description of the space environment, an introduction to orbital and attitude dynamics, and a survey on spacecraft sensors and actuators, with details of their modeling principles. Part 2 covers guidance, navigation, and control, including both on-board and ground-based methods. It also discusses classical and novel control techniques, failure detection isolation and recovery (FDIR) methodologies, GNC verification, validation, and on-board implementation. The final part 3 discusses AI and modern applications featuring different applicative scenarios, with particular attention on artificial intelligence and the possible benefits when applied to spacecraft GNC. In this part, GNC for small satellites and CubeSats is also discussed. Modern Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation, and Control: From System Modeling to AI and Innovative Applications is a valuable resource for aerospace engineers, GNC/AOCS engineers, avionic developers, and AIV/AIT technicians.

Key Features

  • Provides an overview of classical and modern GNC techniques, covering practical system modeling aspects and applicative cases
  • Presents the most important artificial intelligence algorithms applied to present and future spacecraft GNC
  • Describes classical and advanced techniques for GNC hardware and software verification and validation and GNC failure detection isolation and recovery (FDIR)


Aerospace engineers, GNC/AOCS engineers, avionic developers, AIV/AIT technicians

Table of Contents

  • Part 0 - Introduction

    1. Introduction
    Modern spacecraft GNC: what, why, how, for whom?
    A brief historical review of classical spacecraft GNC
    GNC terminology
    GNC architecture: from requirements to preliminary design
    List of acronyms

    Part 1 - Fundamental GNC Tools

    2. Reference systems and planetary models
    Earth and planetary models
    Coordinate reference systems
    Coordinate transformations
    What is relevant for GNC?

    3. The space environment
    Perturbation sources
    External perturbations
    External perturbations modeling guidelines
    Internal perturbations
    Internal perturbations modeling guidelines
    What is it relevant for GNC?

    4. Orbital dynamics

    Two-body problem
    Three-body problem
    Irregular solar system bodies
    Relative orbital dynamics
    Further reading

    5. Attitude dynamics
    Attitude kinematics
    Attitude dynamics
    Three-body problem attitude dynamics
    Relative attitude dynamics
    Multibody spacecraft dynamics
    Further reading

    6. Sensors
    Sensor modeling for GNC
    Sensor faults
    Orbit sensors
    Attitude sensors
    Inertial sensors
    Electro-optical sensors

    7. Actuators
    Actuator modeling for GNC
    Reaction wheels
    Control moment gyros

    Part 2 - Spacecraft GNC

    8. Guidance
    What is guidance?
    On-board versus ground-based guidance
    Guidance applications
    Guidance implementation best practices

    9. Navigation
    What is navigation?
    On-board versus ground-based navigation
    Sequential filters
    Batch estimation
    Absolute orbit navigation
    Absolute attitude navigation
    Relative navigation
    Image processing techniques
    Navigation budgets
    Navigation implementation best practices

    10. Control
    What is control?
    Control design
    Review of control methods
    Control budgets
    Control implementation best practices

    11. FDIR development approaches in space systems
    FDIR in space missions, terms, and definitions
    Current FDIR system development process and industrial practices
    FDIR system hierarchical architecture and operational concepts
    FDIR system implementation in European space missions
    FDIR system verification and validation approach
    FDIR concept and functional architecture in GNC applications

    12. GNC verification and validation
    Why is it important?
    Statistical methods
    MIL test
    SIL/PIL test
    HIL test
    In-orbit test
    Further reading

    13. On-board implementation
    Spacecraft avionics
    On-board processing avionics
    On-board implementation alternatives
    On-board implementation and verification

    Part 3 - AI & Modern Applications

    14. Applicative GNC cases and examples
    AOCS design
    Orbital control system
    Attitude control system
    Relative GNC
    On-board sensor processing
    Irregular solar system bodies fly around
    GNC for planetary landing

    15. Modern spacecraft GNC
    AI in space
    Artificial intelligence and navigation
    Validation of AI-based systems
    Reinforcement learning
    AI use cases
    AI on-board processors
    Innovative techniques for highly autonomous FDIR in GNC applications
    Small satellites/CubeSats
    Further reading


    16. Mathematical and geometrical rules
    Matrix algebra
    Vector identities
    Quaternion algebra
    Basics of statistics
    ECI-ECEF transformation

    17. Dynamical systems theory
    State-space models
    Discrete-time systems
    Transfer functions

    18. Autocoding best practices
    List of main architectural and implementation rules

Product details

  • No. of pages: 1064
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2022
  • Published: November 13, 2022
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323909167
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323909174

About the Editors

Vincenzo Pesce

Dr. Vincenzo Pesce is a GNC Engineer at Airbus D&S Advanced Studies Department in Toulouse, France. His current research interests include autonomous GNC for proximity operations, rendezvous and landing, vision-based navigation, and GNC innovative methods.

Affiliations and Expertise

GNC Engineer, Airbus D&S Advanced Studies Department, Toulouse, France.

Andrea Colagrossi

Dr. Andrea Colagrossi is an assistant professor of Flight Mechanics at the Aerospace Science and Technology Department of Politecnico di Milano. His main research interests are spacecraft GNC and system engineering for advanced small satellite applications, with a focus on effective GNC implementation with limited hardware resources, innovative GNC techniques, and autonomous failure and contingency modes management.

Affiliations and Expertise

Assistant professor, Aerospace Science and Technology Department, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

Stefano Silvestrini

Dr. Stefano Silvestrini is a post-doctoral researcher at the Aerospace Science and Technology Department of Politecnico di Milano. His research interests include the development of Artificial Intelligence algorithms for autonomous GNC in distributed space systems and proximity operations, particularly tailored for embedded applications in small platforms.

Affiliations and Expertise

Post-doctoral researcher, Aerospace Science and Technology Department, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

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