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Astrodynamics

Article Title

Entry vehicle control system design for the Tianwen-1 mission

Keywords

Tianwen-1, Mars landing, attitude control, robust control, fault diagnosis

Abstract

The entry vehicle for the Tianwen-1 mission successfully landed on the surface of Mars at 7:18 AM BJT on May 15, 2021. This successful landing made China the first country to orbit, land, and release a rover in their first attempt at the Mars exploration. The guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) system plays a crucial role in the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phases. This study focused on the attitude control component of the GNC system design. The EDL phase can be divided into several sub-phases, namely the angle of attack control phase, lift control phase, parachute descent phase, and powered descent phase. Each sub-phase has unique attitude control requirements and challenges. This paper introduces the key aspects of designing attitude controllers for each phase. Furthermore, flight results are presented and analyzed.

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