SlugSat requires an Attitude Control System (ACS) to determine and manipulate its orientation in space to stay in orbit and maintain nadir-pointing, the goal of this team is to design and construct an ACS subsystem that conforms to the power and size constraints of the SlugSat Engineering Unit. This involves optimizing software and ensuring fault-recovery for the control logic, as well as fabricating actuators and custom PCBs that fit to craft dimensions.
For the team to fully tackle this engineering problem, there are considerations that need to made before-hand. We must first fully understand the techniques and methodologies behind attitude estimation/determination. Then we must acquire information on the specific size and weight of the craft to construct the desired actuators. We must also decide which sensors and processors are most suited for our project and budget.
The most impacted stakeholders of our deliverable is the SlugSat team itself. Without a functioning ACS the craft would not be able to carry out its payload operations, rendering the mission a failure.
This system uses a combination of sensors and attitude determination feedback loops in conjunction with actuators and control logic to maintain a desired orientation, defined by the pointing requirements of the payloads. The team would need expertise in sensors and attitude determination software in order to estimate the satellite’s attitude. The team also need expertise in the mechanical design of reaction wheels and magnetorquers for making the maneuvers necessary to adjust the craft into the desired orientation.