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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

CubeSat Attitude Control System Testbed

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

CubeSat with COTS ACS System

Design, build, and test a CubeSat attitude control system (ACS) testbed that will allow Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) CubeSats to test their ACS functionality.

The primary objective is to design, build, and test a CubeSat ACS testbed in order to provide technology to buy down risk for GSFC CubeSat missions.  The testbed will look to provide the following capabilities:

- Accommodation for CubeSats ranging in size from 1U to 6U

- Three axis movement to allow for phasing demonstration

- Light source movement to demonstrate system response to sun sensor inputs

- Dipole measurement to quantify torque capability

- Torque measurement to quantify reaction wheel capability

- Real time data and video capture

The goal of this system will be to test functionality of the ACS and not to develop a detailed performance profile.  The main attractiveness is for the engineer to be able to test phasing of different satellite modes.  Demonstrating that the satellite responds as expected to both software commands and external inputs is valuable to increasing confidence in the design. 

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Anticipated Benefits

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Technology Transitions

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