Design and Development of a CubeSat Attitude Control Test Assembly


Team Rocket

Design and Development of a CubeSat Attitude Control Test Assembly

From left: Brialyn, Yosef, Jonah, Mars

Mission Statement

Design and build a testing assembly, enabling the Hawaii Space Flight Lab to test and validate the Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem of their upcoming NEUTRON-1 3U CubeSat mission.

Project Summary

CubeSats are a category of nanosatellites; nine orders of magnitude smaller than a standard satellite.  This small size makes them cheaper, and faster to produce, allowing for a design that enables testing of more recent technological advancements as opposed to a standard satellite. CubeSats feature an Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) that is used to correct rotation of the CubeSat body upon deployment, and allows for subsequent orientation control. The ADCS is controlled by an onboard computer and is able to provide attitude control using actuators that will move or rotate the CubeSat body. The functionality of the satellite ADCS is vital to the success of the satellite mission and is therefore required to be properly tested and verified prior to launch.

The motivation for this project was to assist the Hawai’i Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) in updating their satellite testing facility to be able to accommodate the smaller size of a CubeSat. This requires simulation of spacecraft dynamics on Earth to enable HSFL to test and validate the ADCS actuators of their upcoming NEUTRON-1 3U CubeSat mission. The resulting approach was to design and construct an assembly for testing and validation of the ADCS actuators of a 3U CubeSat whilst matching the moments of inertia to accurately simulate the rotational dynamics experienced in space.

Schedule Summary

Finance Summary

Performance Summary - Semester 2

Performance Summary - Semester 1

The Team

  • Brialyn Onodera – Project Lead
  • Yosef Ben Gershom – Systems Integrator
  • Mars, Laird Rayno – Financial Advisor
  • Jonah Ang

Hawaii Space Flight Lab Mentor

  • Miguel Nunes, Ph.D.

Senior Design Advisor

  • A Zachary Trimble, Ph.D.

Contact Information

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