Session

Session X: The Smaller Elements

SSC09-X-4.pdf (406 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

Pointing control of cubesats can be quite challenging due to constraints on volume, cost, and complexity of control hardware. Recent achievements and developments in small sensor and actuator designs have enabled the possibility of reasonable pointing performance (a few degrees or better) for a variety of intriguing space experiments. In this paper we describe a simple pointing control design that exploits the aerodynamics associated with the space dart geometry of a triple cubesat with deployable solar panels in a low-altitude orbit (< 500 km) to provide passive pitch and yaw stabilization, coupled with a small momentum-biased pitch reaction wheel offering passive yaw and roll stabilization. Augmented active rate damping is provided using a small three-axis magnetometer, three small magnetic torquers, and a model-based B-dot control law. This simple passive/active control system offers experiment pointing capability to less than 5 degrees of nadir without the need for any attitude knowledge.

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Aug 12th, 4:30 PM

Pointing Control for Low Altitude Triple Cubesat Space Darts

Pointing control of cubesats can be quite challenging due to constraints on volume, cost, and complexity of control hardware. Recent achievements and developments in small sensor and actuator designs have enabled the possibility of reasonable pointing performance (a few degrees or better) for a variety of intriguing space experiments. In this paper we describe a simple pointing control design that exploits the aerodynamics associated with the space dart geometry of a triple cubesat with deployable solar panels in a low-altitude orbit (< 500 km) to provide passive pitch and yaw stabilization, coupled with a small momentum-biased pitch reaction wheel offering passive yaw and roll stabilization. Augmented active rate damping is provided using a small three-axis magnetometer, three small magnetic torquers, and a model-based B-dot control law. This simple passive/active control system offers experiment pointing capability to less than 5 degrees of nadir without the need for any attitude knowledge.