Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


College of Engineering


William R. Murray

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


As science instruments on CubeSats become more sensitive to the attitude of the spacecraft, better methods must be employed to provide the accuracy needed to complete the planned mission. While systems that provide the accuracy required are available commercially, these solutions are not cost-effective, do not allow the design to be tailored to a specific mission, and most importantly, do not give students hand-on experience with attitude control actuators. This thesis documents the design, modeling, and simulation of a low-cost, student-fabricated, reaction wheel system for use in 3U CubeSat satellites. The entire design process for the development of this reaction wheel is based on fundamental design principles and can be replicated for either larger or smaller spacecraft as needed. Additionally, plans for bringing this design up to a prototyping and testing phase are outlined for continued use of this design in the Cal Poly CubeSat Laboratory.