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Technical pre-phase: a study of a spinning microsatellite for Martian missions: mission characterization and system design focusing on attitude determination and control
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Several science missions have been undertaken to our neighbor planet Mars. They realize different mission concepts from aeronomy orbiters to planetary landers and rovers. So far there has been no dual satellite mission with a microsatellite because of technical limitations. This study will fill that gap by demonstrating the feasibility of a 20 kg microsatellite for dual Martian missions allowing new and never before possible scientific observations. Hereby the microsatellite does not weigh more than a variety of scientific instruments on interplanetary spacecrafts. The study provides a mission profile including the selection of a suitable orbit based on scientific and communication analyses and an operation concept throughout mission lifetime. In this context an important trade-off is performed between communication demands and scientific objectives each requiring contradictory orbit properties. Recent transceiver developments for Martian relay orbiters and rovers made this trade-off possible. However, the main focus of this study is on the attitude determination and control system (ADCS). The stringent mass budget and the lack of an intrinsic magnetic field on Mars make the design of this subsystem particularly challenging because microsatellites on earth missions usually implement a magnetic control to comply with the mass limitations. Therefore different principles and new technology developments are researched, analyzed and evaluated. Finally a baseline attitude determination and control system is derived from worst case analyses. The attitude determination system is based on a 2-axis sun sensor, 3-axis rate sensor – both engineered with MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) technology – and a miniaturized horizon crossing indicator providing attitude accuracies < 1.5°. whereas the attitude control will be performed via a mems-engineered cold gas micropropulsion system - dry mass 2 kg – enabling theoretical maneuver accuracies in the order of 1e-03 degrees. moreover a general system design sufficient enough to provide a realistic three dimensional model of the microsatellite in terms of mass and geometry is developed. such a model enables realistic and convincing analysis of the adcs. in this sense all subsystems were dimensioned based on available hardware or new technology developments on-going to determine power, mass and volume characteristics. the final satellite design shows to be suitable for a variety of mars missions even extending the current profile in terms of mission lifetimes longer than one martian year or possible formation flight demonstrations at mars in preparation for human spaceflight. the in this study characterized spacecraft configuration and dynamics model for attitude simulations provide a solid basis for further analysis and next phase studies for martian microsatellites.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, microsatellite, attitude determination, attitude control, Mars, solar wind monitoring, micropropulsion, spacecraft, system design
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-50157ISRN: LTU-PB-EX--07/033--SELocal ID: 76f38ec0-270c-4981-a087-246f60963f17OAI: diva2:1023514
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 15 credits
Educational program
Space Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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