Design and Manufacturing of Sun Motion Simulator Applied to Satellites Attitude Determination
Environmental simulation has an essential contribution in attitude determination and control verification tests of satellites. Specifically, real-time modeling of space environment can provide more precise and adapted simulation of real world in order to enable satellite attitude determination system by online outputs of sensors. Design and manufacturing of a moving mechanism which simulates the motion of real Sun relative to the satellite is proposed in this paper. Indeed, an artificial Sun carried by the mechanism will sensitize Sun Sensors mounted on a 3DOF model of satellite and finally the outputs of sensors are used to determine the attitude of the model satellite. The procedure of designing and manufacturing such a mechanism is described as follows. Firstly, the motion of Sun relative to the satellite on a specific orbit was ascertained. Next, considering the constraints such as laboratory space and its equipments, an appropriate mechanism was designed conceptually to satisfy the requirements. Then, the detailed characteristics of the mechanism were determined in the preliminary design phase and approved in the detailed design phase of the project. Finally, in order to verify the designed mechanism, a scaled down prototype was fabricated. Developmental tests on the prototype proved the ability of the model to simulate the Sun motion relative to the satellite properly.
F. Kermanshahi et al., "Design and Manufacturing of Sun Motion Simulator Applied to Satellites Attitude Determination", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 110-116, pp. 2504-2512, 2012