Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory – Design and Development of a CubeSat Attitude Control Test Assembly

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Design and Development of a CubeSat Attitude Control Test Assembly

Team Rocket

Team Rocket: Ideally not blasting off again~

From left: Mars, Brialyn, Yosef, Jonah

Mission Statement


To boldly design and build a calibrated testing assembly to validate the attitude determination and control system’s algorithms and actuators for a 3U CubeSat.

Project Summary: What Exactly Are We Doing?

CubeSats are a category of small satellites that allow for an exciting new field of innovation and space research. One of the components that can be installed on a CubeSat is an attitude determination and control system (ADCS) which regulates the orientation of the satellite. The Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) is in the process of designing a 3U CubeSat with an ADCS for an upcoming mission. The ADCS requires testing and validation prior to launch to ensure the success of the mission. To accurately test the ADCS requires simulation of the rotational dynamics and the frictionless environment experienced in space. This motivates the need to design and build a testing assembly, enabling HSFL to test and validate the ADCS of their upcoming NEUTRON-1 3U CubeSat mission. The testing assembly encompasses a housing for the ADCS and components being tested, a rotational platform to simulate rotation in space, and a support table with a mechanism for achieving a neutral balance on the rotational platform to interface between the two.

Our main goal is the design and fabrication of a testing assembly with a 3D printed CubeSat structure mounted upon it. This assembly will have the same mass and moments of inertia as a CubeSat in orbit, as testing control systems and programs won’t work very well if our test platform doesn’t behave the same. Our main considerations are ensuring that the centers of mass and rotation of the test platform are coincident and the moments of inertia are as close to the actual CubeSat as we can make it. These will ensure that the rotation experienced by the test platform in HSFL’s Developmental Test Bed is as accurate as possible.

Schedule Summary

Finance Summary

Performance Summary - Semester 2

Performance Summary - Semester 1

The Team

Most Excellent Worker Bees

  • CAPT Brialyn Onodera
  • Yosef Ben Gershom
  • Mars, Laird Rayno
  • Jonah Ang

Totally Rad HSFL Mentor

  • Miguel Nunes, Ph.D.

The Guy Who Probably Doesn’t Want A 90’s Reference For Him, But Deserves Mention

  • A Zachary Trimble, Ph.D.

Understanding Mass Trimming


Contact Information

You can reach us via email at HSFLWorkerBees@gmail.com!