Session

Technical Poster Session 4: Guidance, Navigation & Control

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

Over the last year, Cal Poly Pomona has made a significant push to become a consistent space-faring university through the development of CubeSats. These small satellites are complex in many ways, but arguably one of the most important and elaborate areas in development is the Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS). In taking on the developmental challenge of ADCS design and implementation on the BroncoSat-1 Satellite, the team at Cal Poly Pomona wanted to have the ability to validate the on-orbit control systems. To accurately test the satellite's control system, an on-orbit environment needs to be simulated in a lab setting. To achieve this simulated test environment, two systems were needed, the first being a Helmholtz cage which allows for the simulation of Earth’s magnetic field for any point in Low Earth Orbit and a balancing system seated on hemispherical air bearing that allows for frictionless rotation and the ability to align the center of rotation with the center of mass of the system which will negate the experienced gravity torques. Along with simulating the environment having the ability to get consistent refined data was an important requirement for the team that was met by implementing motion-tracking cameras that precisely follow and record the movements of the testbed.

For this system, the team was operating under very tight budgetary and scheduling restrictions, which led to a simple design at its roots but robust enough to enable basic ADCS testing and validation. With current industry trends, there will be a continuing increase in launch opportunities for small satellites in the years to come, and the ability for new groups to be able to verify their control systems with cheap yet efficient systems will also become more necessary as they try and meet more frequent launch cadences.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

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Aug 7th, 12:00 AM

A Cost-Effective and Feasible Approach for CubeSat A.D.C.S. Validation

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Over the last year, Cal Poly Pomona has made a significant push to become a consistent space-faring university through the development of CubeSats. These small satellites are complex in many ways, but arguably one of the most important and elaborate areas in development is the Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS). In taking on the developmental challenge of ADCS design and implementation on the BroncoSat-1 Satellite, the team at Cal Poly Pomona wanted to have the ability to validate the on-orbit control systems. To accurately test the satellite's control system, an on-orbit environment needs to be simulated in a lab setting. To achieve this simulated test environment, two systems were needed, the first being a Helmholtz cage which allows for the simulation of Earth’s magnetic field for any point in Low Earth Orbit and a balancing system seated on hemispherical air bearing that allows for frictionless rotation and the ability to align the center of rotation with the center of mass of the system which will negate the experienced gravity torques. Along with simulating the environment having the ability to get consistent refined data was an important requirement for the team that was met by implementing motion-tracking cameras that precisely follow and record the movements of the testbed.

For this system, the team was operating under very tight budgetary and scheduling restrictions, which led to a simple design at its roots but robust enough to enable basic ADCS testing and validation. With current industry trends, there will be a continuing increase in launch opportunities for small satellites in the years to come, and the ability for new groups to be able to verify their control systems with cheap yet efficient systems will also become more necessary as they try and meet more frequent launch cadences.