TEST BED FOR THE SIMULATION OF MAGNETIC FIELD MEASUREMENTS OF LOW EARTH ORBIT SATELLITES

Alberto Gallina, Paweł Zagórski, Jakub Rachucki

Abstract


The paper presents a test bed designed to simulate magnetic environment experienced by a spacecraft on low Earth orbit. It consists of a spherical air bearing located inside a Helmholtz cage. The spherical air bearing is used for simulating microgravity conditions of orbiting bodies while the Helmholtz cage generates a controllable magnetic field resembling the one surrounding a satellite during its motion. Dedicated computer software is used to initially calculate the magnetic field on an established orbit. The magnetic field data is then translated into current values and transmitted to programmable power supplies energizing the cage. The magnetic field within the cage is finally measured by a test article mounted on the air bearing. The paper provides a description of the test bed and the test article design. An experimental test proves the good performance of the entire system.

Keywords


Helmholtz cage; air bearing; attitude determination; attitude control; nano-satellite

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7494/mech.2015.34.3.47

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