CubeSats have evolved to the point where high accuracy inertial pointing has become a requirement in certain missions. In these missions, three reaction wheels are required to provide 3-axis control throughout the entire orbit. Sensors are chosen to provide the level of accuracy required for a specific mission. We have developed a 3-axis system that builds on the experience and hardware heritage gained from the Y-Momentum unit. This system can be upgraded to a variety of levels to provide different pointing abilities for different missions.

The standard components included in this bundle are:

  • CubeComputer: Radiation tolerant OBC
  • CubeControl: Sensor and actuator interface board + 3-Axis Gyro
  • CubeSense: Fine Sun and Earth sensor
  • 3x CubeWheel Small: Mounted separate from stack
  • 10x Coarse Sun Sensors: Sun-sensitive photodiodes
  • 2x CubeTorquer Rods + 1x CubeTorquer Coil 
  • 1x CubeMag: Deployable 3-Axis magnetometer
  • Compiled ADCS Control Program (ACP): Program running on CubeComputer

Optional extras include :

  • Redundant magnetometer: Non-deployable type
  • Upgrade to 3 x CubeWheel Medium (mounted separately from bundle)
  • Upgrade to 3 x CubeWheel Large (mounted separately from bundle)
  • CubeStar (mounted separately from bundle)
  • Unlock CubeComputer: Enables user to use Computer as OBC
  • Software Support: Hourly support for custom firmware

Typical application

The 3-Axis ADCS solution is designed to do inertial pointing with high accuracy. It contains all the controllers that are included in the other ADCS solutions, but provides the extra functionality of 3-Axis pointing in any direction. The unit can function with or without the star tracker, depending on the pointing accuracy that is required. If high accuracy pointing is only required in the sunlit part of the orbit, a star-tracker is not required and the system can function sufficiently with only the fine Sun and nadir sensor. The OBC of the ADCS unit can be unlocked to act as both ADCS and main OBC.

For more information, contact us at info@cubespace.co.za.

The typical ADCS capabilities of the satellite are: