Session

Technical Session III: Advanced Technologies I

SSC12-III-5_presentation.pdf (1270 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

Satellites must often point a device continuously at an object while the satellite and/or object move through space. With these devices, connections are typically made between the articulated device and a fixed base around which the device rotates in one or more axes while tracking. Implementing these connections can be a challenge in size constrained applications or when uninterrupted tracking is required. Within the small satellite realm, some new solutions (e.g., Canfield joint) have recently been developed to address this problem. Given the mass and volume constraints imposed upon CubeSats, the authors feel that none of the existing solutions solve the problem elegantly or efficiently. A new, simple two degree-of-freedom (2-DOF) joint - the Hemispherical Anti-Twist Tracking System (HATTS) - is proposed that allows continuous tracking through a hemisphere with continuous rotation while avoiding any twist in the connection(s) from the device to the base. This design is notable for its simplicity and its ability to continuously rotate. The HATTS joint has a reduced component count and fewer interfaces between moving parts than other solutions, thereby potentially increasing pointing accuracy while lowering cost, mass and complexity. In the CubeSat-specific implementation (CubeHATTS), two identical motors are rigidly affixed to the chassis of the satellite and provide the two DOFs via a jointed elevation arm and dual coaxial gears operated either synchronously or differentially. CubeHATTS is able to track continuously through a hemisphere and when stowed, the entire system fits in a volume of approximately ¼ U (10cm x 10cm x 2.8cm).

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Aug 14th, 9:00 AM

A Novel Hemispherical Anti-Twist Tracking System (HATTS) for CubeSats

Satellites must often point a device continuously at an object while the satellite and/or object move through space. With these devices, connections are typically made between the articulated device and a fixed base around which the device rotates in one or more axes while tracking. Implementing these connections can be a challenge in size constrained applications or when uninterrupted tracking is required. Within the small satellite realm, some new solutions (e.g., Canfield joint) have recently been developed to address this problem. Given the mass and volume constraints imposed upon CubeSats, the authors feel that none of the existing solutions solve the problem elegantly or efficiently. A new, simple two degree-of-freedom (2-DOF) joint - the Hemispherical Anti-Twist Tracking System (HATTS) - is proposed that allows continuous tracking through a hemisphere with continuous rotation while avoiding any twist in the connection(s) from the device to the base. This design is notable for its simplicity and its ability to continuously rotate. The HATTS joint has a reduced component count and fewer interfaces between moving parts than other solutions, thereby potentially increasing pointing accuracy while lowering cost, mass and complexity. In the CubeSat-specific implementation (CubeHATTS), two identical motors are rigidly affixed to the chassis of the satellite and provide the two DOFs via a jointed elevation arm and dual coaxial gears operated either synchronously or differentially. CubeHATTS is able to track continuously through a hemisphere and when stowed, the entire system fits in a volume of approximately ¼ U (10cm x 10cm x 2.8cm).