Electromagnetic Force Simulations on a Reaction Sphere for Satellite Attitude Control

L. Rossini[1], E. Onillon[1], O.Chetelat[1], and C. Allegranza[2]
[1]Centre Suisse d’Electronique et Microtechnique, Switzerland
[2]ESA/ESTEC, The Netherlands

In the frame of an ESA project, CSEM in collaboration with other partners has developed an innovative Attitude Orbit Control System concept that relies on a Reaction Sphere. We propose to use one unique magnetic bearing Reaction Sphere whose spin axis and angular velocity can be positioned by dedicated control. The design is based on a 3-D permanent magnet motor obtained with a multi pole rotor and a stator having 20 poles. The concept is protected under the patent WO 2007/113666 A2. We have manufactured a test platform and we have demonstrated some of the postulated characteristics of the Reaction Sphere concept. Finally, we have performed finite element simulations to verify the accuracy of the measurements on the test bench. Simulations results are in close agreement with the experimental results on the test platform.