Project Summary Project Information

With the ever increasing desire to conduct research in space, a demand for cheaper alternatives to traditional satellites were needed. With the relatively recent advent of CubeSats, a more economically feasible option to conduct research in a space environment was born. CubeSats are used by universities, research groups, and industry to conduct their own research in space. However, before one can send a CubeSat into space, it first needs to prove it's durability under certain space related conditions, simulated here on Earth.

Here at RIT, the RIT Space Exploration research group (RIT SPEX) has formed with the ultimate goal of sending its own CubeSat into space to conduct research. Needless to say, RIT SPEX does not have these testing capabilities here on campus, the financial backing to purchase testing equipment from a manufacture, nor the financial support to send a CubeSat to a testing facility.

One of the tests all CubeSats must undergo, before launch, is Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS). During this test, the CubeSat is subjected to various magnetic fields, varying direction (with respect to all three axes) and magnitude of the fields. ADCS is meant to mimic the types of magnetic fields the CubeSat will experience while it is in orbit (both equatorial and polar orbits).

The main deliverable of this project is to design, build, and test our own ADCS testing apparatus that is comparable to preexisting ADCS testing rigs. The final design should provide a cost effective option that can be utilized by RIT SPEX for future testing. The final product should be able to fit in the RIT SPEX lab, or must be collapsable so it can fit in the RIT SPEX lab. Over the course of this project, documentation will be placed on EDGE for reference by future members of RIT SPEX.

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Project Name
CubeSat Attitude Determination Control System (ADCS) Testing Apparatus
Project Number
Project Family
Aerospace Systems and Technology Track
Start Term
Spring 2016
End Term
Fall 2016
Faculty Guide
Thomas Bitter, tebddm@rit.edu
Primary Customers :
  • John Wellin, jdweme@rit.edu
  • Paul Curtin, prc5550@rit.edu
Sponsor (financial support)
RIT Space Exploration research group (RIT SPEX)



Team Members

From left to right: Jakob Krzyston, Bradley Conn

From left to right: Jakob Krzyston, Bradley Conn

Member Role Contact
Jakob Krzyston Mechanical Engineer jak7870@g.rit.edu
Bradley Conn Computer Engineer bec5030@rit.edu

Table of Contents


Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Subsystem Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation