Cubesat Positioning While Detumbling

Supervisor Name/s: 
Prof Andrew Dempster, Dr Eamonn Glennon
Research field/s: 
Satellite Systems
Satellite navigation, positioning

When a satellite is separated from its launch vehicle, it “tumbles”. It takes some time for this tumbling to be brought under control, and during that period it may be difficult to establish the satellite’s position. GPS, for instance, in general cannot be used because the receiver cannot acquire and track the satellites, due to constant interruption of the line of sight between antenna and GPS satellite. ACSER has been developing both cubests and cubesat-based satellite navigation systems. In this project, the idea is to use “snapshots” of the navigation satellite signals to establish the satellites position during the tumbling phase. This idea has been established on earth, but not in the high dynamics of space.