Development and Validation of Guidance, Navigation, and Control Strategies for CubeSat Earth Observation Missions
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This thesis describes the development of tools to design and test guidance, navigation, and control strategies for CubeSat Earth observation missions. The first contribution of this research is a novel orbital guidance and navigation system (OGNS) algorithm which minimizes onboard GPS usage while ensuring fine orbital accuracy during target flybys. Tests completed for three separate target locations show the OGNS algorithm successfully reduces GPS duty cycle to less than 1%. The second contribution of this research is a newly developed experimental platform used to test a custom reaction wheel and Sun sensors designed for the LORIS satellite. This testbed uses a planar air bearing platform as opposed to typical setups which use spherical air bearing platforms. A reaction wheel hardware model was identified and then validated using the testbed. Overall trends are observed for the Sun sensors; improvements to the setup will allow for absolute performance characterization.