Article Title

Control performance simulation and tests for Microgravity Active vibration Isolation System onboard the Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft


Microgravity Active vibration, Isolation System, system dynamics modelling, controller design, vibration attenuation per-, formance, computer simulation, air-bearing platform levita-, tion, aircraft parabolic flight


The Microgravity Active vibration Isolation System (MAIS), which was onboard China’sfirst cargo-spacecraft Tianzhou-1 launched on April 20, 2017, aims to provide high-levelmicrogravity at an order of 10−5–10−6 g for specific scientific experiments. MAIS is mainlycomposed of a stator and a floater, and payloads are mounted on the floater. Sensing relativemotion with respect to the stator fixed on the spacecraft, the floater is isolated from vibrationon the stator via control forces and torques generated by electromagnetic actuators. Thisisolation results in a high-level microgravity environment. Before MAIS was launched intospace, its control performance had been simulated on computers and tested by air-bearingplatform levitation and aircraft parabolic flight. This article first presents an overviewof the MAIS’s hardware system, particularly system structure, measurement sensors, andcontrol actuators. Its system dynamics, state estimation, and control laws are then discussed,followed by the results of computer simulation and engineering tests, including the test ofthe six-degree-of-freedom motion by aircraft parabolic flight. Simulation and test resultsverify the accuracy of the control strategy design, effectiveness of the control algorithms, andperformance of the entire control system, paving the way for operation of MAIS in space.This article also presents the steps recommended for the control performance simulation andtests of MAIS-like devices. These devices are expected to be used on China’s Space Stationfor various scientific experiments that require a high-level microgravity environment.


Tsinghua University Press