Orientation and Tilt Control

The Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) team is responsible for using sensor data to determining how the CubeSat is oriented, and pointing it toward the sun. Determining orientation involves taking measurements of the Earth’s magnetic field (using sensors called magnetometers) and the CubeSat’s rotation rates (using sensors called gyroscopes). The sensor data is combined to give the attitude (orientation) of the CubeSat. This information is sent to the attitude control system so the satellite can be made to point at the sun (which is critical to the scientific mission of the payload). In order to accomplish sun pointing, the CubeSat will manipulate the Earth’s magnetic field through magnetorquers; coils of wire which, when provided an electric current, generate their own magnetic field. Magnetorquers will be used to control each axis of the satellite and ensure that the detector points no more than 25 degrees away from a line drawn between the satellite and the sun.