On February 23rd of this year, following an aborted mission on the 22nd, the unmanned SpaceX capsule Dragon successfully delivered 5,500 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station. Thrust control of a spacecraft such as Dragon is an active and evolving area of research in the field of aerospace engineering. Recent decades have seen the development of techniques for simulation of spacecraft attitude control known as Lie group variational integrators.
In this project, I implement Lie group variational integrators as well as optimal control strategies for a spacecraft. Primary software development was done in C++ with output visualization handled by Mathematica. The spacecraft simulated is a faithful approximation of publicly released SpaceX designs for the Dragon2; including mass, inertia matrix, and thruster placement. In this poster are presented some of the mathematics used in the modeling as well as some visualizations of simulated test flights.
Samuel Vidovich is a junior at Kent State Stark. He majors in Applied Mathematics with a concentration in statistics. After he graduates, he will attend graduate school to study Applied Data Science. He enjoys mathematics, especially linear algebra and matrices, reading, working on cars and programming.