Session

Technical Session III: Advanced Technologies II

SSC13-III-10.pdf (756 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

A cubesat attitude control system (ACS) was designed at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to provide sub-degree pointing capabilities using low cost, COTS attitude sensors, COTS miniature reaction wheels, and a developmental micro-propulsion system. The ACS sensors and actuators were integrated onto a 3D-printed plastic 3U cubesat breadboard (10 cm x 10 cm x 30 cm) with a custom designed instrument board and typical cubesat COTS hardware for the electrical, power, and data handling and processing systems. In addition to the cubesat development, a low-cost air bearing was designed and 3D printed in order to float the cubesat in the test environment. Systems integration and verification were performed at the MSFC Small Projects Rapid Integration & Test Environment laboratory. Using a combination of both the miniature reaction wheels and the micro-propulsion system, the open and closed loop control capabilities of the ACS were tested in the Flight Robotics Laboratory. The testing demonstrated the desired sub-degree pointing capability of the ACS and also revealed the challenges of creating a relevant environment for development testing.

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Aug 13th, 9:46 AM

Pushing the Limits of Cubesat Attitude Control: A Ground Demonstration

A cubesat attitude control system (ACS) was designed at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to provide sub-degree pointing capabilities using low cost, COTS attitude sensors, COTS miniature reaction wheels, and a developmental micro-propulsion system. The ACS sensors and actuators were integrated onto a 3D-printed plastic 3U cubesat breadboard (10 cm x 10 cm x 30 cm) with a custom designed instrument board and typical cubesat COTS hardware for the electrical, power, and data handling and processing systems. In addition to the cubesat development, a low-cost air bearing was designed and 3D printed in order to float the cubesat in the test environment. Systems integration and verification were performed at the MSFC Small Projects Rapid Integration & Test Environment laboratory. Using a combination of both the miniature reaction wheels and the micro-propulsion system, the open and closed loop control capabilities of the ACS were tested in the Flight Robotics Laboratory. The testing demonstrated the desired sub-degree pointing capability of the ACS and also revealed the challenges of creating a relevant environment for development testing.