We propose a simple and relatively inexpensive method for determining the center of gravity (CoG) of a small spacecraft. This method, which can be ascribed to the class of suspension techniques, is based on dual-axis inclinometer readings. By performing two consecutive suspensions from two different points, the CoG is determined, ideally, as the intersection between two lines which are uniquely defined by the respective rotations. We performed an experimental campaign to verify the method and assess its accuracy. Thanks to a quantitative error budget, we obtained an error distribution with simulations, which we verified through experimental tests. The retrieved experimental error distribution agrees well with the results predicted through simulations, which in turn lead to a CoG error norm smaller than 2mm with 95% confidence level.

Experimental verification of a simple method for accurate center of gravity determination of small satellite platforms

Modenini, Dario
;
CURZI, GIACOMO;Tortora, Paolo
2018

Abstract

We propose a simple and relatively inexpensive method for determining the center of gravity (CoG) of a small spacecraft. This method, which can be ascribed to the class of suspension techniques, is based on dual-axis inclinometer readings. By performing two consecutive suspensions from two different points, the CoG is determined, ideally, as the intersection between two lines which are uniquely defined by the respective rotations. We performed an experimental campaign to verify the method and assess its accuracy. Thanks to a quantitative error budget, we obtained an error distribution with simulations, which we verified through experimental tests. The retrieved experimental error distribution agrees well with the results predicted through simulations, which in turn lead to a CoG error norm smaller than 2mm with 95% confidence level.
Modenini, Dario*; Curzi, Giacomo; Tortora, Paolo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/679145
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