This research contribution is drafted to present the orbit design, orbit propagator and geomagnetic field estimator for the nanosatellites specifically for the upcoming CUBESAT, ICUBE-1 of the Institute of Space Technology (IST), Islamabad, Pakistan. The ICUBE mission is designed for the low earth orbit at the approximate height of 700KM. The presented research endeavor designs the Keplarian elements for ICUBE-1 orbit while incorporating the mission requirements and propagates the orbit using J2 perturbations, The attitude determination system of the ICUBE-1 consists of attitude determination sensors like magnetometer and sun sensor. The Geomagnetic field estimator is developed according to the model of International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF) for comparing the magnetic field measurements by the magnetometer for attitude determination. The output of the propagator namely the Keplarians position and velocity vectors and the magnetic field vectors are compared and verified with the same scenario generated in the Satellite Tool Kit (STK).
Attitude Determination (AD) of a spacecraft using the phase measurements of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is an active area of research. Various attitude determination algorithms have been developed in yester years for spacecrafts using different sensors but the last two decades have witnessed a phenomenal increase in research related with GPS receivers as a stand-alone sensor for determining the attitude of satellite using the phase measurements of the signals from GNSS. The GNSS-based Attitude determination algorithms have been experimented in many real missions. The problem of AD algorithms using GNSS phase measurements has two important parts; the ambiguity resolution and the determining of attitude. Ambiguity resolution is the widely addressed topic in literature for implementing the AD algorithm using GNSS phase measurements for achieving the accuracy of millimeter level. This paper broadly overviews the different techniques for resolving the integer ambiguities encountered in AD using GNSS phase measurements.
This research contribution propels the idea of collaborating environment for the execution of student satellite projects in the backdrop of project management principles. The recent past has witnessed a technological shift in the aerospace industry from the big satellite projects to the small spacecrafts especially for the earth observation and communication purposes. This vibrant shift has vitalized the academia and industry to share their resources and to create a win-win paradigm of mutual success and technological development along with the human resource development in the field of aerospace. Small student satellites are the latest jargon of academia and more than 100 CUBESAT projects have been executed successfully all over the globe and many new student satellite projects are in the development phase. The small satellite project management requires the application of specific knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to achieve the defined mission requirements. The Authors have presented the detailed outline for the project management of student satellites and presented the role of industry to collaborate with the academia to get the optimized results in academic environment.