Degree Name

BS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering Department


Kira Abercromby


This report details the method and results of the program created for simulating an Earth orbiting spacecraft with control actuators and orbital perturbations. The control actuators modeled are reaction thrusters, reaction/momentum wheels, and control moment gyros (CMG). The perturbations modeled were gravity gradient, electromagnetic torques, solar radiation pressure, gravity gradients, third-body effects, Earth oblateness and atmospheric drag. This simulation allows for satellite control in all 6 degrees of freedom for any Earth orbiting spacecraft. Assumptions include rigid body dynamics, no sensor noise, constant spacecraft cross-sectional area, constant coefficient of drag and reflectivity, ignoring the effects due to the moon, moment of inertia doesn’t change with a change in mass, and reaction thrusters only produce torque. The results from test trials showed reasonable numbers and system behavior.