Novel Satellite Attitude Control System

As availability of nanosatellites (1-10kg) and picosatellites (<1kg) for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) increases, there is also an increasing demand for Attitude Determination and Control Systems (ADCS) that can be accommodated within such a small volume. Namely commercial CubeSat (nanosatellite) is as small as 10x10x10 cm and 1.33 kg (a single unit) and PocketQube (picosatellite) is as small as 5x5x5 cm. A number of commercial independent ADCS can be accommodated within the nanosatellites and picosatellites structure but as packaging, reliability, power and cost-effectiveness have become challenging issues in the last years, there is fertile ground for improvements and novel designs as well as respective market opportunities. In addition to reliability and space requirements, increase in mission demands results-in cumulation of deployable equipment and the consequent need for ADCS’s that can produce high-torque output on one hand and ensure flexibility and swiftness on the other. The current work proposes one such ADCS design that can deal with the challenges of LEO satellite missions such as magnetic cleanliness, detumbling, desaturation and fast maneuvering capability while at the same time minimizing volume, power and cost and maximizing lifespan and reliability. The basis of the proposed design is a system that encompasses a novel design of an ADCS. The concept points to a system that can exploit both reaction and gyroscopic torques in the three dimensions thus allowing flexibility in the management and generation of the torque vector, according to changing satellite attitude demands. The proposed work builds on previous mathematical modeling and analysis as well as technical and theoretical know-how. Further, the work aims to shape the final outlook of the final product through simultaneous market research and engineering advancement which fall under the umbrella of experimental development of the system. This will lead to a market-ready cleared-to-fly Minimum-Viable-Product (MVP) that will be tested during a launch, generating data that can be used for further development and promotion. In this project we collaborate with Grey Space ltd and ARIS accelerator, both based in Cyprus, as well as in collaboration with Prof. Andreas Mueller from the Institute of Robotics, Johannes Kepler University, Linz.