Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Dr. Eric Mehiel


Hardware configurations, a control law, and a steering law are developed for a mixed hardware spacecraft that uses both control moment gyros and reaction wheels. Replacing one or more gyros in a spacecraft with a reaction wheel has potential for cost savings while still achieving much greater performance than using reaction wheels alone. Several simulated tests are run to compare the performance to a traditional all reaction wheel or all control moment gyro spacecraft, including analysis of failure modes and singular configurations. The mixed system performed similarly to all gyro systems, responding within 6% of the gyro system’s time for all nominal cases. It far exceeds the performance of reaction wheel systems, taking only a fourth of the time. It also handles failures better than reduced size gyro systems. As such, it can be an effective cost saving measure for certain satellite missions.