3d-printed, electrically conductive structures for magnetic attitude control

Robb, B., McRobb, M. , Bailet, G. and McInnes, C. (2022) 3d-printed, electrically conductive structures for magnetic attitude control. Acta Astronautica, 200, pp. 448-461. (doi: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2022.08.006)

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The use of embedded current loops for the attitude control of large, flexible spacecraft is investigated. Length-scaling laws are derived by determining what fraction of a planar spacecraft’s mass would need to be allocated to the conductive current loops in order to produce a torque at least as large as the gravity gradient torque. Simulations are then performed of a flexible truss structure, modelled as a spring-mass system, for a range of structural flexibilities and a variety of current loop geometries. Simulations demonstrate rotation of the structure via the electromagnetic force on the current carrying elements, and are also used to characterise the structural deformations caused by the various current loop geometries. An attitude control simulation is performed, demonstrating a 90◦ slew manoeuvre of a 250 × 250 m flexible structure through the use of three orthogonal sets of current loops embedded within the spacecraft.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:BAILET, Dr Rer Nat Gilles and McRobb, Dr Malcolm and McInnes, Professor Colin and Robb, Bonar
Authors: Robb, B., McRobb, M., Bailet, G., and McInnes, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Acta Astronautica
ISSN (Online):1879-2030
Published Online:19 August 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Acta Astronautica 200: 448-461
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
306654Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging TechnologiesColin McInnesRoyal Academy of Engineering (RAE)02/08/2019ENG - Systems Power & Energy
172105Ultra-low energy trajectories for near Earth asteroid capture and returnColin McInnesThe Royal Society (ROYSOC)WM150013ENG - Systems Power & Energy