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Prototyping and Testing of Solar Panel Residual Dipole for CubeSats


J. Quack

Semester Thesis, SS17

A nanosatellite is a satellite with a volume of 1-3 liter and a payload of 1-4 kg. Currently nanosatellites are mainly used for in orbit demonstration missions, but this technology shows also potential for other commercial applications. A major disturbance in the attitude of nanosatellites is its residual dipole, which creates a parasitic torque in interaction with the magnetic field of the earth. Beside the attitude control, a design which minimizes the residual dipole of the satellite is a key part to reduce the impact of this disturbance. There are only few numbers available for the residual dipole of nanosatellites - the contribution of the solar cells to the total residual dipole is not known. The goal of this semester project was to determine the residual dipole of the solar cell with a free oscillation method using a test setup consisting out of two Helmholtz coils, and develop a design for the solar panel based on this result. The results showed that the test setup is not performant enough to determine the residual dipole. Nevertheless it could be concluded that the residual dipole of the solar cells must be smaller than 4 * 10^-4 A m^2. This semester project is a joint venture of Space Engineering Center EPF and ELSE and ETHZ.

Supervisors: Muriel Richard (EPFL), Florian Dörfler


Type of Publication:

(13)Semester/Bachelor Thesis

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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@PhdThesis { Xxx:2017:IFA_5700
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