Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Eric D. Swenson, PhD.


The Air Force Institute of Technology's attitude dynamics simulator, SimSat, is used for hardware-in-the-loop validation of new satellite control algorithms. To provide the capability to test algorithms for control moment gyroscopes, SimSat needed a control moment gyroscope array. The goal of this research was to design, construct, test, and validate a control moment gyroscope array for SimSat. The array was required to interface with SimSat's existing structure, power supply, and electronics. The array was also required to meet maneuver specifications and disturbance rejection specifications. First, the array was designed with initial sizing estimates based on requirements and vehicle size. Next, the vehicle and control dynamics were modeled to determine control moment gyroscope requirements and provide a baseline for validation. Control moment gyroscopes were then built, calibrated, and installed on the vehicle. The actuators were then validated against the dynamics model. Testing shows minor deviation from the expected behavior as a result of small misalignments from the theoretical design. Once validation was complete, the array was tested against the performance specifications. The performance tests indicated that the control moment gyroscope array is capable of meeting specifications

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number