TASP MSc Seminar – Alexander Puzev – “Modeling and Control of a Variable-mass CubeSat Reaction Wheel”

Work towards MSc degree under the supervision of Prof. Pini Gurfil

When: 9.11.2020 at 16:00

Where: zoom

Abstract:  Nanosatellites, most predominantly CubeSats, usually carry no propulsion system, yet their usage is important both from the science and from the budget points of view. To increase the nano-satellite functionality, as well as to allow orbit control in the presence of orbit injection errors, an ejection of mass from a reaction wheel is proposed. Utilizing the reaction wheel kinetic energy, a propellant mass is released from the specialized wheel’s outer circumference using a short application of an electric current. Such a propulsion mechanism can allow impulsive orbit control without using traditional propulsion systems. Dynamical model of the satellite, modified reaction wheel and the ejected mass will be presented. A methodology for constructing a model of a variable-mass reaction wheel designed according to given specifications of a desired velocity change and satellite attitude stability will be given. An example of the impulse generation for small orbit corrections necessary to maintain a formation after orbit injection will be presented. The pros and cons of the proposed method will be discussed.