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AOSC Departmental Seminar
March 24, 2016

Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control with Emphasis on CubeSats

Chuck Weyandt
Maryland Aerospace, Inc.

When designing attitude determination and control subsystems (ADACS) for small satellites, everything must be correspondingly smaller and cheaper. Unfortunately, in the spacecraft world, smaller does not denote cheaper, as evidenced by NASA’s generally failed Better/Faster/Cheaper paradigm; you can have two of the three, but not all. For CubeSats, this still applies, but it goes like this: much smaller, much cheaper, and as good as you can get, with a goal of achieving the same kind of performance larger spacecraft can expect. This is a significant paradigm shift for those familiar with typical spacecraft. A demonstration of real-time control using MAI’s simulator and MAI-400 unit will follow the seminar, time permitting.

Maryland Aerospace, Inc. (MAI) is located in Crofton, MD, and specializes in design and analysis of ADACS systems for small satellites. President and Founder Steve Fujikawa has been involved with spacecraft, UAV, and associated ADACS work for 38 years. Chief Engineer for ADACS Systems Chuck Weyandt has been in the spacecraft ADACS business for 30 years, and previously collaborated with UMD on the CHopper study, designing the ADACS and method for landing, settling, and ‘hopping’ to new locations on a comet. Krystal Arroyo is a new graduate from MIT and has recently joined the MAI team as an Engineer. For more information, visit