A Novel Controller Design for the Next Generation Space Electrostatic Accelerometer Based on Disturbance Observation and Rejection

Sensors (Basel). 2016 Dec 23;17(1):21. doi: 10.3390/s17010021.


The state-of-the-art accelerometer technology has been widely applied in space missions. The performance of the next generation accelerometer in future geodesic satellites is pushed to 8 × 10 - 13 m / s 2 / H z 1 / 2 , which is close to the hardware fundamental limit. According to the instrument noise budget, the geodesic test mass must be kept in the center of the accelerometer within the bounds of 56 pm / Hz 1 / 2 by the feedback controller. The unprecedented control requirements and necessity for the integration of calibration functions calls for a new type of control scheme with more flexibility and robustness. A novel digital controller design for the next generation electrostatic accelerometers based on disturbance observation and rejection with the well-studied Embedded Model Control (EMC) methodology is presented. The parameters are optimized automatically using a non-smooth optimization toolbox and setting a weighted H-infinity norm as the target. The precise frequency performance requirement of the accelerometer is well met during the batch auto-tuning, and a series of controllers for multiple working modes is generated. Simulation results show that the novel controller could obtain not only better disturbance rejection performance than the traditional Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) controllers, but also new instrument functions, including: easier tuning procedure, separation of measurement and control bandwidth and smooth control parameter switching.

Keywords: electrostatic accelerometer; embedded model control; inertial sensor; non-smooth optimization.