Nano-satellite passive attitude stabilization systems design by orbital environment modeling and simulation

Samir A. Rawashdeh, James E. Lumpp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Passive attitude stabilization techniques such as Gravity Gradient stabilization, Passive Magnetic Stabilization, and Aerodynamic stabilization in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) are effective and relatively simple methods to control the attitude of small satellites and provide basic pointing control. The design of such stabilization systems is achievable using a high fidelity simulation of all major environmental effects of the desired orbit to study the on-orbit behavior and the effectiveness of the stability system in overcoming the disturbance torques. The Attitude Propagator described in this paper was developed to study earth-orbiting nano-satellites and includes models for the orbit parameters, gravity gradient torque, aerodynamic torque, magnetic torque, and magnetic hysteresis material behavior for angular rotation damping. The implementation of the Orbital Environment Simulator is described, followed by analysis and verification of the simulation accuracy using collected on-orbit data of passively stabilized satellites. Finally, the Passive Magnetic Stabilization system of KySat-1, a one-unit CubeSat designed by Kentucky Space, is described in detail with the corresponding simulation results from the Orbital Environment Simulator.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA Infotech at Aerospace 2010
StatePublished - 2010
EventAIAA Infotech at Aerospace 2010 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Apr 20 2010Apr 22 2010

Publication series

NameAIAA Infotech at Aerospace 2010


ConferenceAIAA Infotech at Aerospace 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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