The nanosatellite POPSAT-HIP1 is a Cubesat-class spacecraft launched on the 19th of June 2014 to test cold-gas based micro-thrusters; it is, as of April 2015, in a low Earth orbit at around 600 km of altitude and is equipped, notably, with a magnetometer. In order to increment the performance of the attitude control of nanosatellites like POPSAT, it is extremely useful to determine the main biases that act on the magnetometer while in orbit, for example those generated by the residual magnetic moment of the satellite itself and those originating from the transmitter. Thus, we present a methodology to perform an in-orbit offline estimation of the magnetometer bias caused by the residual magnetic moment of the satellite (we refer to this as the residual magnetic dipole bias, or RMDB). The method is based on a genetic algorithm coupled with a simplex algorithm, and provides the bias RMDB vector as output, requiring solely the magnetometer readings. This is exploited to compute the transmitter magnetic dipole bias (TMDB), by comparing the computed RMDB with the transmitter operating and idling. An experimental investigation is carried out by acquiring the magnetometer outputs in different phases of the spacecraft life (stabilized, maneuvering, free tumble). Results show remarkable accuracy with an RMDB orientation error between 3.6°and 6.2°, and a module error around 7%. TMDB values show similar coherence values. Finally, we note some drawbacks of the methodologies, as well as some possible improvements, e.g. precise transmitter operations logging. In general, however, the methodology proves to be quite effective even with sparse and noisy data, and promises to be incisive in the improvement of attitude control systems.

In-orbit offline estimation of the residual magnetic dipole biases of the POPSAT-HIP1 nanosatellite

SERIANI, STEFANO;GALLINA, PAOLO;
2016

Abstract

The nanosatellite POPSAT-HIP1 is a Cubesat-class spacecraft launched on the 19th of June 2014 to test cold-gas based micro-thrusters; it is, as of April 2015, in a low Earth orbit at around 600 km of altitude and is equipped, notably, with a magnetometer. In order to increment the performance of the attitude control of nanosatellites like POPSAT, it is extremely useful to determine the main biases that act on the magnetometer while in orbit, for example those generated by the residual magnetic moment of the satellite itself and those originating from the transmitter. Thus, we present a methodology to perform an in-orbit offline estimation of the magnetometer bias caused by the residual magnetic moment of the satellite (we refer to this as the residual magnetic dipole bias, or RMDB). The method is based on a genetic algorithm coupled with a simplex algorithm, and provides the bias RMDB vector as output, requiring solely the magnetometer readings. This is exploited to compute the transmitter magnetic dipole bias (TMDB), by comparing the computed RMDB with the transmitter operating and idling. An experimental investigation is carried out by acquiring the magnetometer outputs in different phases of the spacecraft life (stabilized, maneuvering, free tumble). Results show remarkable accuracy with an RMDB orientation error between 3.6°and 6.2°, and a module error around 7%. TMDB values show similar coherence values. Finally, we note some drawbacks of the methodologies, as well as some possible improvements, e.g. precise transmitter operations logging. In general, however, the methodology proves to be quite effective even with sparse and noisy data, and promises to be incisive in the improvement of attitude control systems.
http://www.journals.elsevier.com/acta-astronautica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2892521
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