Student: Caleb A Aardahl, Undergraduate Student in Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University
Research Mentor: Dr. Dae Young Lee
FACTS- Floating Attitude Control Test System
Upon deployment, small satellites can fail to satisfy mission objectives due to the lack of affordable testing equipment for attitude determination and control. The Floating Attitude Control Test System project, known formally as FACTS, Aims to reduce the failure rates of small sat failure upon deployment by providing sub-system level verification for CubeSats. The current FACTS platform can fit up to a 3U size CubeSat and features scalability. The system allows for the center of mass compensation and currently offers three degrees of rotational freedom. The system is currently being improved by verifying system dynamics using a Qualisys motion tracking system to analyze quaternions and spatial rotation to provide useful test documentation. The future for FACTS is to distribute the system as an open-source platform for smaller educators and universities for CubeSat testing and expand the system to fully test attitude control in six degrees of freedom.