MAI-1/2U-ADACS (Attitude Determination and Control System) for CubeSats
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4931 Tesla Drive, Suite B, Bowie, MD, -
AbstractABSTRACT: The MAI-1/2U-ADACS for CubeSats is a smaller than 1/2 U size complete ADACS system composed of a 3-axis reaction wheel, a novel 0.1 & #61616;-0.2degrees Earth Horizon sensor employing earth limb image processing in two orthogonal cameras, a sun sensor, 3-axis magnetometer, 3 torque coils and an attitude control computer that can accommodate additional sensors (such as GPS). The entire MAI-1/2U-ADACS is contained in a volume of about 10cm x 10 cm x 4 cm. It has a large enough momentum capacity to slew a 3U CubeSat at 8degrees/sec. When used with CubeSats it converts them to a very stable platform on which very accurate experiments requiring precise attitude control can be mounted. During Phase I, a prototype 1/2U ADACS will be developed, tested and exercised in a HITL (Hardware-In-The-Loop) environment to demonstrate and verify the performance capabilities of the system. In addition, mechanical and electrical and software interface specifications will be written to permit a user to integrate the MAI-1/2U-ADACS into his 3U CubeSat with a minimum of effort and within a very short time. HITL software will also be provided so that a customer can retest the system at his own facility. BENEFIT: The MAI-1/2U-ADACS will provide the ever larger CubeSat community a robust, easy to integrate and very small ADACS of 0.1-0.2degrees attitude control capability. With this capability (and an affordable price) CubeSats will be able to realize the potential seen for them, as a low cost but very capable platform for space experimenters. Under a DARPA SBIR contract we developed the MAI-100 1U ADACS for CubeSats. The MAI-100 enabled a number of nanosatellite applications not previously possible. However, the MAI 1/2U ADACS will halve the volume, more than quadruple the attitude control accuracy and reduce the power consumption of the MAI-100, making it highly desirable as the ADACS of choice for the CubeSat community. The MAI-100 has been a marketing success, having sold in a year over 22 systems. Since that time the CubeSat community has exhibited substantial growth, now achieving about 50 satellites per year. We expect that our commercialization program will capture the lion"s share of this market, making this SBIR program pay off handsomely for the Air Force and for the commercial space community.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.