For the majority of CubeSat missions the payload ADCS requirement is to be 3-Axis stabilized, with the payload pointing Nadir or in the flight direction. We have developed a very robust system for achieving this with low power and with a very compact bundle of hardware components. This unit have been refined through flight experience and this second generation Y-Momentum bundle is truly the ADCS ‘sweet spot’ for CubeSats. ​

The standard components included in this unit are :

  • CubeComputer: Radiation tolerant OBC
  • CubeControl: Sensor and actuator interface board + 3-Axis Gyro
  • CubeWheel Small: Small momentum wheel mounted in the Y-Axis
  • 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 computer

Optional extras include :

  • Redundant magnetometer: Non-deployble type
  • CubeSense: Fine Sun and Earth sensor
  • Upgrade to CubeWheel Medium (not mountable on CubeControl)
  • Upgrade to CubeWheel Large (not mountable on CubeControl)
  • Unlock CubeComputer: Enables user to use Computer as OBC
  • Software Support: Hourly software support for custom firmware

Typical application

The Y-Momentum bundle is used for missions where sub 1 degree pointing is not necessarily needed, but a 3-axis stable system is required. Examples of such missions is general earth observation missions, scientific missions where the payload must be pointed in the velocity direction, and communication missions. This ADCS unit provides the functionality to detumble a satellite into a stable spin, and then to absorb the rotation of the satellite into a momentum wheel. This momentum wheel provides good disturbance rejection which makes it possible to further keep the satellite 3-axis stable using magnetic control. The satellite can do pitch manoeuvres in the orbital plane by control the momentum wheel’s speed. This is particularly useful for imaging missions, and for ground-station tracking in communication missions. For any other mission, ground-station communications can be improved by doing tracking at least in the pitch direction. The OBC of the ADCS unit can be unlocked to act as dual ADCS and main OBC. This allows the user to save space inside the satellite by eliminating the need for a main OBC.

Contact us for more information at info@cubespace.co.za.

The typical ADCS capabilities of the satellite would be: