Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering

Department

Aerospace Engineering

Advisor

Jordi Puig-Suari

Abstract

Small satellites, and CubeSats in particular, have quickly become a hot topic in the aerospace industry. Attitude determination is currently one of the most intense areas of development for these miniaturized systems and future Cal Poly satellite missions will depend heavily on magnetometers. In order to utilize magnetometers as a viable source of attitude knowledge, precise calibration is required to ensure the greatest accuracy achievable. This paper outlines a procedure for calibrating and testing magnetometers on the next generation of Cal Poly CubeSates, utilizing a Helmholtz cage to simulate any desired orbital magnetic field that would be experienced by a spacecraft around Earth, as well as investigation of magnetic interference as a result of on-board electrical activity.

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