Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Eric D. Swenson, PhD.


The design and test of a 6U CubeSat Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) are explored to establish single-axis control using AFIT's CubeSat testbed consisting of a Helmholtz cage and hemi-spherical air bearing. The Helmholtz cage produces a near-uniform magnetic field inside the cage while the air bearing provides a near-frictionless surface for ADCS testing. The ADCS testbed includes a four wheel pyramid reaction wheel array (RWA) for actuation and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) for attitude determination. Along with the ADCS hardware, the ADCS testbed also includes an Electrical Power System (EPS) and Command and Data Handling (CDH) for power and wireless telemetry, respectively. Attitude estimation is performed using the QUEST algorithm with magnetometer and accelerometer sensor data to estimate a current quaternion. A Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controller is used for control of the ADCS testbed while each reaction wheel motor is controlled by a proportional gain. ...

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number