The fault tolerance of spacecraft actuators significantly affects the reliability of satellites and the likelihood of successful missions. To enhance the fault tolerance of the actuators, this study derives optimal fault-tolerant configurations of fixed thrusters that maximize the controllability of a fully-actuated or underactuated satellite. The proposed method optimizes thrust and torque directions generated by the thrusters. Thus a cost function in terms of the thruster locations and directions is defined as the summation of the generated control forces and torques with respect to the body-fixed frame. The optimal configuration is obtained by the successive use of an energy potential method that is motivated by Thomson's problem. Some numerical examples are provided that show the effectiveness of the proposed formulation and optimization method.
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