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ISS Flight Op - Validation of a CubeSat Stellar Gyroscope System

KY

University of Kentucky/NASA Johnson and Kennedy Space Center/Human Exploration and Operations and Space Technology Mission Directorates

Researchers at the University of Kentucky have developed a method to control the orientation of a satellite in space using an onboard visual gyroscope system that captures images of stars. Integrated into a small satellite called a CubeSat, the gyroscope system has a camera that images the background star field from the satellite’s position and then estimates the satellite’s orientation based on the relative motion of stars between successive images. The advantage of this approach, once demonstrated, is the potential for lower-cost attitude determination and control systems for all small satellites with limited computing and power resources. The University of Kentucky Space Systems Lab will test their stellar gyroscope system in low-Earth orbit as a follow-on project to the Kentucky Space, UK, and Morehead State University KySat-2 CubeSat launched in 2013 as part of the ELaNa IV mission. A student and faculty team at UK will upgrade an existing CubeSat built for the KySat-2 project and, along with their NASA partners, prepare it for launch into orbital trajectory from the International Space Station. This project gives researchers in the University of Kentucky College of Engineering access to space to test their concepts and hardware, while also providing UK students firsthand experience with spacecraft testing and operations. University of Kentucky students Timothy Lim and Zachary Porter perform subsystem upgrade testing for a CubeSat that will be launched into orbit from the International Space Station to test an experimental stellar gyroscope method for small spacecraft attitude determination developed by the UK Space Systems Lab.

Dr. James E. Lumpp, Jr., Science PI, Professor, University of Kentucky www.nasa.gov/epscor/stimuli

Steve Huning, NASA ISS RIM, Johnson Space Center

NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15

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EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  
EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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