MEMS Gradiometers for Attitude Determination on CubeSats

Marocco, G. et al. (2019) MEMS Gradiometers for Attitude Determination on CubeSats. In: 33rd Annual Small Satellite Conference, Utah, USA, 3-8 Aug 2019,

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This paper presents the design, fabrication and testing of a new high sensitivity gravity sensor for attitude determination in CubeSats. The project is a collaboration between the Institute for Gravitational Research at the University of Glasgow and ÅAC-Clyde. The gravitational gradiometer takes advantages of the technology of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and determines the attitude of the satellite by a differential gravity measurement, the principle at the base of gravitational gradiometry. The capacitive readout allows to measure the rotation of the MEMS gradiometer and consequently evaluate the angle changes of the CubeSat. The developed geometry consists of two symmetrical masses connected to a fixed support by four thin flexure hinges. The all- Silicon sensor resonates at a frequency of 6 Hz, and has a total mass of less than 2 g. It is expected that the sensor geometry and the readout demonstrated would be suitable to achieve the performances required from CubeSat systems and detect a rotation of the small satellite of 1 degree, in order to offer performance comparable to other state-of-the-art sensors currently available on the market.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Additional Information:The work is funded by the CENSIS, ÅAC – Clyde and the UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging (EP/M01326X/1).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hammond, Professor Giles and Hild, Professor Stefan and Middlemiss, Dr Richard and Prasad, Dr Abhinav and Rowan, Professor Sheila and Marocco, Miss Giovanna and Paul, Professor Douglas and Hough, Professor James
Authors: Marocco, G., Middlemiss, R., Prasad, A., Hild, S., Hough, J., Rowan, S., Hammond, G., Paul, D., Strain, A., Anderson, P., and Jeffrey, H.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Research Group:Semiconductor Devices
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Small Satellite Conference
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the authors

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
305567QuantIC - The UK Quantum Technoogy Hub in Quantum Enhanced ImagingMiles PadgettEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/T00097X/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy