University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

A practical small satellite variable-speed control moment yroscope for combined energy storage and attitude control

Richie, DJ, Lappas, VJ and Prassinos, G (2008) A practical small satellite variable-speed control moment yroscope for combined energy storage and attitude control

Full text not available from this repository.


A recent effort to develop single-gimbal variable-speed control moment gyroscopes (VSCMGs) for a combined energy storage and attitude control subsystem (ESACS) on small satellites has culminated in laboratory validation of the concept. A single actuator prototype comprised of a cutting-edge carbon fiber rotor and COTS motor/generator components has been developed, balanced, bench tested, and integrated onto a spherical air-bearing structure. This structure is used to demonstrate the primary capability of a VSCMG to act as a dynamo whilst simultaneously changing a spacecraft's orientation in a controlled fashion. As originally predicted, the actuator's flywheel spins up when energy is supplied, (supported via a Direct Energy Transfer power architecture) then spins down when the energy source is removed, porting the energy released to run aresistive load. The work presented gives an overview of the governing principles of the technology, addresses the underlying mission and design requirements, and presents the prototype design. Then, effectiveness of the prototype integrated on a 3-axis test article is presented along with its associated test data. Finally, discussion of these results and identification of future research concludes the work. The benefits of this technology for future space missions are that system consolidation permits mass reduction, higher instantaneous peak power is available as compared to conventional secondary battery systems, state-of-charge measurement is readily available from wheel speed feedback, and torque amplification through gimballing permits efficient actuator control. The technology demonstrated is exciting and leaves the door open for future development via inclusion of magnetic levitation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Richie, DJ
Prassinos, G
Date : 1 December 2008
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 11:59
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 17:28

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800