Optimal Solar Panel Area Computation and Temperature Tracking for a CubeSat System using Model Predictive Control
Recently, there has been a rising interest in small satellites such as CubeSats in the aerospace community due to their small size and cost-effective operation. It is challenging to ensure precision performance for satellites with minimum cost and energy consumption. To support maneuverability, the CubeSat is equipped with a propellant tank, in which the fuel must be maintained in the appropriate temperature range. Simultaneously, the energy production should be maximized, such that the other
... ch that the other components of the satellite are not overheated. To meet the technological requirements, we propose a multicriteria optimal control design using a nonlinear dynamical thermal model of the CubeSat system. First, a PID control scheme with an anti-windup compensation is employed to evaluate the minimum heat flux necessary to keep the propellant tank at a given reference temperature. Secondly, a linearization-based controller is designed for temperature control. Thirdly, the optimization of the solar cell area and constrained temperature control is solved as an integrated nonlinear model predictive control problem using the quasilinear parameter varying form of the state equations. Several simulation scenarios for different power limits and solar cell coverage cases are shown to illustrate the trade-offs in control design and to show the applicability of the approach.