Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Eric D. Swenson, PhD.


All spacecraft represent a considerable investment of both time and money. To ensure mission success, testing and validation of all vital systems is crucial to the design process. The attitude control subsystem (ACS) is typically tested thoroughly, to include both hardware and control algorithms. Computer simulations offer a simple and relatively cheap method of predicting the performance of the ACS; however, computer simulations cannot provide the assurances necessary to qualify an ACS hardware configuration or control algorithm spaceworthy. For this reason, physical spacecraft simulators must be used to validate ACS dynamics. Previous research showed there is room for significant improvement to the design methodology of lab-rated control moment gyroscopes (CMGs), which can be used as attitude control devices. An improved design methodology was created to streamline the design process and develop best practices. To evaluate the design methodology, a CMG ACS was designed for the Attitude Control Subsystem Proving Ground (ACSPG), and a prototype was tested.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number