Putting attitude control subsystem together

The way we stabilise the satellite is fully passive – we use Earth’s magnetic field to do the job for us. What ensures the camera and antennae on board the spacecraft are directed towards the Earth surface (i.e. are pointed at the nadir) is a permanent magnet. This magnet aligns itself with the local magnetic field lines, thus giving us the right pointing. Angular momentum imparted during the deployment of the satellite, and due to disturbing forces, such as air drag, will be dissipated by using a hysteresis material.

In our case, this is a HyMu-80 alloy that has come to England all the way from sunny California. Today we unwrapped it and cut it to the right lengths. There still is a bit more work to be done on those, but it’s exciting to see an entire subsystem of the satellite take shape.

HyMu-80 is delivered in lengths that are drawn to the desired diameter (for us that is less than 1 mm). Those then have to be cut to the right length.

HyMu-80 is delivered in rods that are drawn to the desired diameter (for us that is less than 1 mm). Those then have to be cut to the right length.

Attitude stabilisation rods made out of HyMu-80. Cut to the right lengths and waiting to be annealed to give them the best magnetic properties.

Rods cut to the right lengths and waiting to be annealed to give them the best magnetic properties.

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