Smallsat, Satellite control
REACTION WHEEL TECHNOLOGY
The latest generation of reaction wheels, plug-&-play, radiation-proof, with a long life time, safeguarded electronics, and a very compact design.
ITAR-free reaction wheel technology architecture
COMAT aims to develop a complete reaction wheel family for the New Space market, i.e. platforms between 20 kg and 200 kg.
Reaction wheels perform three different missions:
A satellite should remain pointed in order to perform different missions such as: Earth Observation, science, telecommunications. A satellite uses three reaction wheels to master its attitude: it is a “three degree of freedom satellite”. The equipment has to compensate the external torque applied to the spacecraft (gravity gradient, magnetic field, pressure radiation…). The speeds of the reaction wheels increase and decrease in order to create torques on the spacecraft. Torques are driven by the on-board computer.
A satellite requiring little precision only needs large reaction wheels to increase gyroscopic stiffness: it is a “zero degree of freedom satellite”.
After ejection of the launcher’s upper stage, the satellite has an uncontrolled attitude with high rotation rate. Reaction wheels are then used to detumble the satellite.
- Plug-&-play concept
- Embedded electronics
- Robust technology (stainless steel bearings)
- High-torque design (brushless motor)
- High-performance control loop
Torque or angular rate control