Project Title: Magnetic Torque Rod Development for future spacecraft



The first satellite built by HSFL had 3 magnetic torque  rods to control the satellite orientation (attitude) while orbiting the Earth. These torque rods produce a magnetic moment that interacts with the magnetic field of the Earth, producing a torque that allows the spacecraft to orient its cameras where needed. HSFL is looking into developing its own torque rods for testing purposes and possibly for future satellites. The aim of this project is to build a torque rod capable of flying in space (space qualified) and controlling a satellite similar to HiakaSat (~50 kg). After the first prototypes are built, space qualification tests will be performed in the thermal vacuum chamber, vibration testbed and air bearing platform. The torque rods will also be tested with the Helmholtz cage built by a team from the Senior Design Class of 2012.

This project will possibly be made in conjunction with some Electrical Engineering students that will build the space qualified electronics for the torque rods.