Attitude determination and control system of a nanosatellite

Schoonwinkel, Johannes (2007-12)

Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


The aim of this project was to design and test a partial attitude determination and control system for a nanosatellite. The reaction wheel system was designed and tested as an actuator for the nanosatellite. This reaction wheel system consists of four reaction wheels mounted in a tetrahedral formation. A rate sensor system was also designed and its viability for this space application was examined. The rate sensor system consists of 3 orthogonally mounted planes, each with three rate sensors mounted on it. Hardware-inthe- loop tests were used along with an air bearing experimentational setup, which created near frictionless circumstances, to prove the effectiveness of the designed reaction wheel setup. The results following from this project were the following: The reaction wheel system proved to be an adequate actuator for this nanosatellite application and the rate sensor systemwhich was analysed proved to be inadequate for a nanosatellite application.

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