Session

Session XI: Advanced Technologies 3

SSC09-XI-11.pdf (687 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

Over the past 25 years, SSTL has shown that Small Satellites are an effective alternative to larger missions. To remain competitive, however, these spacecraft need to fit more and better functionality into the same low mass, low volume envelopes that allow them to be launched at low cost. Micro-electrical-mechanical systems (MEMS) is an advanced technology that addresses this need and an area that is presently developing rapidly. Atlantic Inertial Systems’ RRS01 MEMS rate sensor was developed for terrestrial applications but has since been found to be suitable for space flight. This compact, light-weight unit has already been shown to be very robust in military applications and has a long lifetime owing to the design of resonating silicon ring at the heart of the sensor. Silicon-wafer mass production techniques are employed, bringing all the benefits of production repeatability as well as low cost and a short lead time. SSTL has developed an inertial sensor module, incorporating this technology that will fly on 5 missions over the next few years. This product builds on the results from 3 previous missions where SSTL has flown MEMS rate sensors, including the RRS01. NigeriaSat-2 uses this inertial sensor to supplement star tracker measurements in attitude estimation, while de-tumbling and Sun-acquisition is the application on the Kanopus platforms. This paper describes the RRS01 MEMS rate sensor and its use in SSTL’s inertial sensor module. Results will be presented from flight experimentation and environmental testing that has been undertaken by SSTL to qualify this technology for use on its customers’ satellite platforms as well as its own. The application of this MEMS technology to various missions is also discussed.

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Aug 13th, 10:30 AM

MEMS in Space – A New Technology Advancing from Flight Experiment to Proven COTS Product

Over the past 25 years, SSTL has shown that Small Satellites are an effective alternative to larger missions. To remain competitive, however, these spacecraft need to fit more and better functionality into the same low mass, low volume envelopes that allow them to be launched at low cost. Micro-electrical-mechanical systems (MEMS) is an advanced technology that addresses this need and an area that is presently developing rapidly. Atlantic Inertial Systems’ RRS01 MEMS rate sensor was developed for terrestrial applications but has since been found to be suitable for space flight. This compact, light-weight unit has already been shown to be very robust in military applications and has a long lifetime owing to the design of resonating silicon ring at the heart of the sensor. Silicon-wafer mass production techniques are employed, bringing all the benefits of production repeatability as well as low cost and a short lead time. SSTL has developed an inertial sensor module, incorporating this technology that will fly on 5 missions over the next few years. This product builds on the results from 3 previous missions where SSTL has flown MEMS rate sensors, including the RRS01. NigeriaSat-2 uses this inertial sensor to supplement star tracker measurements in attitude estimation, while de-tumbling and Sun-acquisition is the application on the Kanopus platforms. This paper describes the RRS01 MEMS rate sensor and its use in SSTL’s inertial sensor module. Results will be presented from flight experimentation and environmental testing that has been undertaken by SSTL to qualify this technology for use on its customers’ satellite platforms as well as its own. The application of this MEMS technology to various missions is also discussed.