Milliarcsecond Small Spacecraft Attitude Control System, Phase I

Metadata Updated: February 28, 2019

Busek proposes to develop a highly modular attitude control system (ACS) which will provide orders of magnitude improvements over state-of-the-art alternative ACS for CubeSats. The low inertia of CubeSats combined with vibrational disturbances and resolution limitations of state-of-the-art ACS presently limit body-pointing and position control accuracy. Busek's electrospray thrusters aboard the ESA LISA Pathfinder spacecraft recently demonstrated precision control at nm scales; this work extends that success to CubeSat platforms. Passively fed electrospray thrusters are highly compact, including fully integrated propellant supplies, and are capable of ~100nN thrust at 10's of nN noise. Thrust can be throttled over >25x, to a scalable maximum of 10's of uN. These traits, combined with >1200s Isp enable these systems to replace traditional reaction wheel ACS; improving pointing error from arcsecs to 10's of milliarcsec. This work addresses critical development gaps, in both thruster-heads and a multi-axis power processing unit with integrated firmware, presently gating the technology. Phase I will focus on establishing a baseline set of data and methodologies permitting detailed verification of the technology and definition of development gaps. The output of existing designs will be scaled to target ACS applicable performance in Task 1, culminating in assembly of two thrusters. A precisely measured performance map including thrust range, resolution and noise will be measured in Task 2 from both thruster heads. Those data will permit PPU system requirements to be defined and will feed development of control laws to be evaluated, in Task 3, using a hardware-in-the-loop precision pointing test apparatus. Electronics requirements will be assessed against existing single-axis architectures and new HV converter measurements in Task 4, along with identification of thruster head development needs; establishing a path towards a full system development in Phase II.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: U.S. Government Work

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Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 28, 2019

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Harvested from NASA Data.json

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Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 28, 2019
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_93639
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
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Harvest Object Id 6d17dc20-6997-4fcc-8ea2-4ca1a49bf565
Harvest Source Id 39e4ad2a-47ca-4507-8258-852babd0fd99
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2017-12-01
Homepage URL
Data Last Modified 2018-07-19
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 4465c3ca43a9e73f9899cfdded5a08b69db08468
Source Schema Version 1.1

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