Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

New technology for applying attitude optimal control to aircrafts and satellites

Posted by Universidad de Alcalá-OTRIResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

The developed technology for being applied to aircrafts and satellites in order to perform attitude optimal control is cost-effective and robust against changes in the environment or in physic structure of the platform. One of the pillars of the new technology is the lack of mathematical models for the performance of control and, instead, it uses the experience gained through interaction with the environment and the platform. As a consequence of the internal behaviour of the technology, the new system is not sensitive to sampling period used.

Description of the technology

A research group from a Spanish University has designed and implemented a new system based on optimal control technology for Attitude Control on aircrafts and satellites. The new approach is mainly characterized by its autonomously learning capacity and adaptability to changes in the dynamics of the platform and environment. Potential collaborations with international/national research centres and companies interested in applying the technology are sought.


The Space Research Group (SRG), specialised in different areas related to Aerospace, including Optimal Control, designs and builds instrumentation to be used on-board satellites, spacecrafts and unmanned aerial vehicles. This new technology offered by this group is able to perform Attitude Control on aircrafts and satellites of an optimal way according to specific optimization criteria (e.g. minimum time). The research carried out by the SRG Group lets us have an available system, which is very robust against changes in the environment or in physic structure of the platform. In order to achieve this robustness, it is necessary to perform a learning that takes into account of an implicit way these possible changes and is able to know the dynamics of the platform in real-time. From this learning, the system shall perform attitude optimal control. For this reason, the learning takes into account of an implicit way, these possible changes. Also, the new approach is a closed-loop solution and learning is focused on reaching a specific goal starting from any origin state, according to an optimization criterion. The goal is a state from a point of a dynamical view, in which the platform must be operative and stable. On the other hand, the origin state is the current determination and current location of the platform. However, it is necessary to reach another state (goal) in order to achieve a good stability and in case of satellites, maintaining the pointing accuracy. In this way, the platform (aircraft or satellite) learns the dynamics and kinematics from the experience without any kind of explicit mathematical models. Thus, the implementation of the new technology consists of learning the dynamics of the platform and performing optimal control of a concurrent way. The great advantage of the concurrency is to adapt the controller while it is being applied and, thus, achieving a behaviour that comes close to optimum. The platform is characterized by so-called state variables and the procedure carried out by the new technology is to act on the platform through control actions in order to modify its current state. Therefore, the set of state variables and their values range constitute the so-called state space which will be the scope of the new system. Sometimes, in order to reduce learning times, it is important to take into account possible symmetries among state variables and the possibility of extrapolating local knowledge to other areas of the state space. Another unique feature of the new technology is the absence of criticality in the choice of sampling period. Regardless of chosen value, controllability will not be affected because the period is automatically adjusted.

Main advantages of its use

  • Altitude optimal control
  • Easy transfer of technology due to the maturity achieved with the new approach in other areas.
  • Low cost
  • Robust against changes


  • The assistance would consists in the assembly of this technology to the special requirements of the company or technical consultancy that the enterprise might need.
  • The research group is looking for aerospace and aeronautics industries for technical cooperation, manufacturing agreements or commercial agreements with technical assistance.

Related keywords

  • Aircraft
  • Aeronautical technology / Avionics
  • Aerospace Technology
  • Space Exploration and Technology
  • Helicopter
  • Guidance and control
  • Satellite Navigation Systems
  • Communications
  • Computer related
  • Attitude control
  • intelligent learning
  • Optimal control
  • aircrafts
  • satellites

About Universidad de Alcalá-OTRI

Research & Technology Organization from Spain

The Technology Transfer Office at Alcalá University serves as a liaison between the University and its socioeconomic environment in terms of research and innovation. It encorages collaboration between research groups from universities and companies/institutions, with the objective to promote and commercialize research results and scientific capabilities.

Some of the services offered by this office are specified in the following list:

- Promotion of R & D and improvement of the relationships with companies.
- Promote the participation in R & D projects applicants to public calls (regional, national and European).
- Advising, processing and monitoring of patents and other forms of industrial protection.
- Support in the negotiation of contracts and agreements for R&D&i

Send your request

By clicking "Send your request" you are signing up and accepting our Terms of Service and Privacy policy

Technology Offers on Innoget are directly posted and managed by its members as well as evaluation of requests for information. Innoget is the trusted open innovation and science network aimed at directly connect industry needs with professionals online.