Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The dynamics of a simplified model of a spinning spacecraft with a circumferential nutational damper is investigated using numerical simulations for nonlinear phenomena. A realistic spacecraft parameter configuration is investigated and is found to exhibit chaotic motion when a sinusoidally varying torque is applied to the spacecraft for a range of forcing amplitude and frequency. Such a torque, in practice, may arise in the platform of a dual-spin spacecraft under malfunction of the control system or from an unbalanced rotor or from vibrations in appendages. The equations of motion of the model are derived with Lagrange's equations using a generalisation of the kinetic energy equation and a linear stability analysis is given. Numerical simulations for satellite parameters are performed and the system is found to exhibit chaotic motion when a sinusoidally varying torque is applied to the spacecraft for a range of forcing amplitude and frequency. The motion is studied by means of time history, phase space, frequency spectrum, Poincaré map, Lyapunov characteristic exponents and Correlation Dimension. For sufficiently large values of torque amplitude, the behaviour of the system was found to have much in common with a two well potential problem such as a Duffing oscillator. Evidence is also presented, indicating that the onset of chaotic motion was characterised by period doubling as well as intermittency.
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