Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Thomas Gronk


This paper presents a procedure used to optimize the performance of a ferromagnetic core magnetic torquer coil design for use on the Space Dynamics Laboratory (Logan, UT) Small Satellite Attitude Control Simulator. The items of optimization include the primary goal of maximizing the coil 's magnetic moment while reducing power consumption and system mass within given power, mass, and dimensional constraints. The optimization process makes use of several simple equations to determine a few starting points for design, after which an iterative approach based on experimentation is used to produce the final design. It is found that optimal magnetic moment performance requires the wise use of as much mass as is available. It is also found that power consumption can be greatly reduced by increasing the length of wire used, at a negligible cost to magnetic moment performance and a small increase in total mass. General governing equations are also compiled to help the reader understand the interplay between the wire windings and the ferromagnetic core in determining performance, and may also serve as starting point in developing performance predicting computer models.