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IJSTR >> Volume 7 - Issue 8, August 2018 Edition

International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research  
International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research

Website: http://www.ijstr.org

ISSN 2277-8616

Frictionless Spacecraft Simulator With Unrestricted Three-Axis Movement For Nanosats

[Full Text]



Jorge Prado-Molina, Humberto Hernández-Arias, Domingo Vera-Mendoza, Juan A. Reyes-González, Jorge Prado-Morales



Spacecraft simulator, full three-axis movement, 3U Cubesat, attitude control system, air-bearing, frictionless environment emulation.



This paper introduces a novel approach to obtain full three-axis movement in a frictionless spacecraft simulator. This simulation system is intended to test attitude determination and control stabilization subsystems for 3U Cubesats, however, it is not constrained to this group of Nanosatellites, scalability to 1U or 2U is readily available. The spacecraft simulator consists of a cup, supplied with air pressure, and a hollow sphere floating in the air cushion generated between these two components. This air cushion provides an almost frictionless environment. The Cubesat is attached inside the sphere, allowing it to have a non-restricted movement of 360 arc degrees, in the three-orthonormal axis around its center of mass. The sphere is in fact made of two pieces to allow access to the spacecraft. In this scheme the spacecraft simulator it is not instrumented with attitude and rate sensors to send its orientation by telemetry to the Earth station, as usual. In this case the own attitude instrumentation of the nanosatellite under test is employed to comply with this task. Design and functioning tests of this approach for attitude determination and control system assessment for nanosats are introduced, and for demonstrative purposes LQR and PID attitude control algorithm were implemented on board a 3U Cubesat, in order to test the entire simulator.



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