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Vibration based and miniaturizable satellite attitude actuator

Akbulut, Burak
Major malfunctions are originated from bearing mechanisms of reaction wheels, momentum wheels and control moment gyroscopes. Current research investigates the theoretical background for attitude actuators depending on oscillatory actuation which can be implemented without bearings. The approximate angular momentum and dynamics of such a device is formulated. A prototype vibration based attitude control actuator was designed and produced. Design implications originating from the mathematical model of the actuator were incorporated into its mechanical design. An experimental setup consisting of a load cell and a frictionless air bearing was utilized. Experiments were carried in which the device successfully rotated the experimental setup; proving the concept of vibration based attitude actuation. Furthermore, a scale-down study was carried out to assess the novel concept’s suitability for miniaturization. Later, a MEMS based actuator was designed and its functioning was exhibited through simulations.