Design of a CubeSat guidance, navigation, and control module
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A guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) module is being designed and fabricated as part of a series of CubeSats being built by the Satellite Design Laboratory at the University of Texas. A spacecraft attitude control simulation environment called StarBox was created in order to perform trade studies and conduct performance analysis for the GN&C module. Navigation and control algorithms were tested using StarBox and then implemented onto an embedded flight computer. These algorithms were then tested in a hardware-in-the-loop simulation. In addition, the feasibility of utilizing advanced constrained attitude control algorithms was investigated by focusing on implementation in flight software. A mechanical and electrical design for the GN&C module was completed. A prototype system was set up on a bench-top for integrated testing. The analysis indicates that the system will satisfy the requirements of several CubeSat missions, including the current missions at the University of Texas known as Bevo2 and ARMADILLO.