Subsystem requirements

Magnetic sensor:

Power Mass Volume Cost
61.5mW 6g 42x24x10mm ~£400

Contact (append to all email addresses)

Team leader:
Tim Trent (tjt11)

Team members:
Thomas Searle (ts117)
Chris Bradley (cb234)
Chris Deeks (cd122)
Calum Meredith(cjm49)
Chris Powell (cejp1)
Eralp Ertekun (ee59)


Our current attitude determination system has two main components:
- A 3-axis magnetic sensor

Power Mass Volume Cost
61.5mW 6g 42x24x10mm ~£400

- A software based sun sensor using the solar panels.

Requires digital bandwidth of 12 bytes per reading

We do not plan to include any active or passive attitude control systems.

The approximate orbital parameters of our satellite will be given by our launch provider. Once in orbit, PLUME's exact flightpath will be tracked by NORAD. When PLUME is first released from the PPOD, it will listen constantly for a transmission from our ground stations containing the NORAD data that will tell its exact orbit. The satellite will be able to determine its attitude from a comparison of local magnetic field readings with a simulated field model produced by the computer.

The purpose of the system is to allow the satellite to determine its orientation in space to let it tell where the camera is pointing; it will also help to identify when the primary experiment is 'wake pointing', which will affect the frequency of collision events.

Of the two subsystems, the magnetic sensor is the closest to completion and the sun sensor device's preliminary design has been determined.


Magnetic sensor
Sun sensor (using solar panels)
Orbital parameters TBD
External torque analysis
Data rates
NORAD data format

Here are the accompanying excel spreadsheets for the Orbital Determination and Torque Analysis.


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