Distributed Attitude Determination and Control for AAUSAT4.


7. and 9. semester Automation and Control

AAUSAT4 (http://space.aau.dk/aausat4) is the next cubesat from Aalborg University.

Launch is planned to take place in autumn 2014.

Project Contents

We propose to develop

  • a distributed architecture for hosting an ADCS system. An ADCS system consists of a number of sensors(sun sensor, mag field, gyro, position,...) and a 3 dimensional magnet torque unit based on electrical coils.
  • an ADCS system which can carry out real pointing and demonstrate the capabilitites of the distributed solution mentioned above.

The HW design for the AAUST4 ADCS system is based on two local processors ( ATSAM90CAN128 and and AT91SARM7A3 ) as well as the possibility of hosting algorithms on the linux based AIS computer, which is in-orbit reprogrammable.

The ADCS sketched on the figure shall be networked.

Modelling and analysis of network in shall be an integral part of the project as well as

  • timeliness and real time behaviour
  • error handling and fault tolerant strategies
    • internal 500 kbit/sec
    • space link 9600 bit/sec


It is the intention that the outcome on this project will go in orbit on AAUSAT4. As the HW is already available and identical to the HW flying on the AAUSAT3 satellite, it will also be possible to perform in-orbit test of the designed algorithms during the semester.

For more info contact

Jens Dalsgaard Nielsen og Jesper A Larsen jdn,jal AT es.aau.dk

Schematic of distributed ADCS for AAUSAT3