AISat-1 is a nano satellite dedicated to detect and receive radio frequency signals of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) sent out by ships. The task of the GNC systems department was to provide an attitude control system (ACS) which stabilized the AISat antenna in a nadir orientation. The department carried out the whole development from feasibility study via design phase until in-orbit check-out. The ACS components have been procured, algorithms and software have been developed, and the whole attitude control system has been verified and tested.
The AISat attitude control system uses three orthogonal aligned magnetic torquers which can generate magnetic dipoles of up to 1 Am². For attitude determination two magnetometers and a three axes rate gyro were integrated.
AISat-1 was successfully launched on June 30th, 2014. Since then, the GNC systems department supports the operation of the satellite. The current position of AISat-1 can be retrieved here.
Heidecker, Ansgar and Steffes, Stephen R. and Reershemius, Siebo and Theil, Stephan (2012) Attitude Control System for the CLAVIS Nano Satellite Bus. Deuscher Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress 2012, 10.-12. Sept. 2012, Berlin