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Low Cost Satellite Attitude Hardware Test Bed

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Space Side of Aerospace

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Paper Authors


Austin B. Probe Texas A&M Aerospace Engineering

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Austin Probe is a third year Ph.D. student at the Land, Air, and Space Robotics Lab at Texas A&M University under the advisorship of Dr. John L. Junkins. He acts a senior member of the LASR Lab mentoring the newer graduate and undergraduate students and volunteers supporting a local high school robotics club. He obtained both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Texas A&M in 2011 and 2013 respectively. His interests include robotics, autonomous systems, computational vision, space proximity operations, and numerical methods for Astrodynamics applications.

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Vinicius Guimaraes Goecks Texas A&M University

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Vinicius Guimaraes Goecks is currently a second semester PhD student in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. He works at Land, Air and Space Robotics (LASR) Lab being advised by Dr. John E. Hurtado. His main research interests are robotics and computer vision applied to space topics.

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John E. Hurtado Texas A&M University

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John Hurtado is a Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. Prior to his academic appointment in 2001, John was a Principal Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM.

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Recent technological developments surrounding CubeSats and Commercial Off-The-Shelf space hardware have drastically reduced the cost of producing and flying a satellite mission. As the barriers to entry fall, space missions become a viable option for more students and research groups. Many of these missions require accurate spacecraft pointing and attitude control. Consequently, exposing students to the practical elements of spacecraft attitude sensing and control is more important than ever. To help address this challenge a novel low-cost test-bed for attitude control has been developed. This test-bed is suspended and relies on a neutrally stable universal joint to allow for 3 degrees of freedom attitude motion. This paper details the design and construction of the attitude test-bed and describes use as an educational platform.

Probe, A. B., & Guimaraes Goecks, V., & Hurtado, J. E. (2016, June), Low Cost Satellite Attitude Hardware Test Bed Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25582

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