Full Text:   <2976>

CLC number: V448.22

On-line Access: 

Received: 2008-06-06

Revision Accepted: 2009-02-25

Crosschecked: 2009-09-10

Cited: 6

Clicked: 3915

Citations:  Bibtex RefMan EndNote GB/T7714

-   Go to

Article info.
1. Reference List
Open peer comments

Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE A 2009 Vol.10 No.11 P.1617~1623


Attitude stabilization of a pico-satellite by momentum wheel and magnetic coils

Author(s):  Tao MENG, Hao WANG, Zhong-he JIN, Ke HAN

Affiliation(s):  Department of Information Science & Electronic Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China

Corresponding email(s):   mengtao@zju.edu.cn

Key Words:  Pico-satellite, Attitude control, Magnetic coils, Momentum wheel

Tao MENG, Hao WANG, Zhong-he JIN, Ke HAN. Attitude stabilization of a pico-satellite by momentum wheel and magnetic coils[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science A, 2009, 10(11): 1617~1623.

@article{title="Attitude stabilization of a pico-satellite by momentum wheel and magnetic coils",
author="Tao MENG, Hao WANG, Zhong-he JIN, Ke HAN",
journal="Journal of Zhejiang University Science A",
publisher="Zhejiang University Press & Springer",

%0 Journal Article
%T Attitude stabilization of a pico-satellite by momentum wheel and magnetic coils
%A Zhong-he JIN
%J Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE A
%V 10
%N 11
%P 1617~1623
%@ 1673-565X
%D 2009
%I Zhejiang University Press & Springer
%DOI 10.1631/jzus.A0820425

T1 - Attitude stabilization of a pico-satellite by momentum wheel and magnetic coils
A1 - Tao MENG
A1 - Hao WANG
A1 - Zhong-he JIN
A1 - Ke HAN
J0 - Journal of Zhejiang University Science A
VL - 10
IS - 11
SP - 1617
EP - 1623
%@ 1673-565X
Y1 - 2009
PB - Zhejiang University Press & Springer
ER -
DOI - 10.1631/jzus.A0820425

The three-axis active attitude control method with a momentum wheel and magnetic coils for a pico-satellite is considered. The designed satellite is a 2.5 kg class satellite stabilized to nadir pointing. The momentum wheel performs a pitch-axis momentum bias, nominally spinning at a particular rate. Three magnetic coils are mounted perpendicularly along the body axis for precise attitude control through the switch control mechanism. momentum wheel start up control, damping control and attitude acquisition control are considered. Simulation results show that the proposed combined control laws for the pico-satellite is reliable and has an appropriate accuracy under different separation conditions. The proposed strategy to start up the wheel after separation from the launch vehicle shows that its pitch momentum wheel can start up successfully to its nominal speed from rest, and the attitude convergence can be completed within several orbits, depending on separation conditions.

Darkslateblue:Affiliate; Royal Blue:Author; Turquoise:Article


[1] Bushenkov, V.A., Ovchinnikov, M.Y., Smirnov, G.V., 2002. Attitude stabilization of a satellite by magnetic coils. Acta Astronautica, 50(12):721-728.

[2] Chang, Y.K., Lee, B.H., Kim, S.J., 2006. Momentum wheel start-up method for HAUSAT-2 ultra-small satellite. Aerospace Science and Technology, 10(2):168-174.

[3] Ergin, E.I., Wheeler, P.C., 1965. Magnetic attitude control of a spinning satellite. Journal Spacecraft and Rockets, 2(6):846-850.

[4] Guelman, M., Waller, R., Shiryaev, A., Psiaki, M., 2005. Design and testing of magnetic controllers for satellite stabilization. Acta Astronautica, 56(1-2):231-239.

[5] Jan, Y.W., Tsai, J.R., 2005. Active control for initial attitude acquisition using magnetic torquers. Acta Astronautica, 57(9):754-759.

[6] Schilling, K., 2006. Design of pico-satellites for education in systems engineering. IEEE Aerospace and Electronic System Magazine, 21(7):S9-S14.

[7] Silani, E., Lovera, M., 2005. Magnetic spacecraft attitude control: a survey and some new results. Control Engineering Practice, 13(3):357-371.

[8] Smirnov, G.V., 2001. Attitude determination and stabilisation of a spherically symmetric rigid body in a magnetic field. International Journal of Control, 74(4):341-347.

[9] Wang, P., Shtessel, Y.B., 1998. Satellite Attitude Control Using only Magnetorquers. American Control Conference, Philadelphia, PA, USA, p.222-226.

[10] Wisniewski, R., Blanke, M., 1999. Fully magnetic attitude control for spacecraft subject to gravity gradient. Automatica, 35(7):1201-1214.

[11] Yu, F.X., Meng, T., Han, K., Zhuang, R., Jin, Z.H., 2007. Design and error analysis of pico-satellite sun sensor. Acta Energiae Solaris Sinica, 28(12):1295-1299 (in Chinese).

Open peer comments: Debate/Discuss/Question/Opinion


Please provide your name, email address and a comment

Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE, 38 Zheda Road, Hangzhou 310027, China
Tel: +86-571-87952783; E-mail: cjzhang@zju.edu.cn
Copyright © 2000 - Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE