Research in Engineering and Aviation

Design of Template to Fabricate Magnetic Torquer Coils for Nano and Picosatellite Missions


Author(s): S. Jayaram

Journal: Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Volume 8, No. 2, pp. 158 – 167, 2010. DOI: 10.1108/17260531011062537


Purpose – Recent advances in nano and picosatellite missions and future such missions require three axis attitude control system hardware for attitude control purposes. A simple, cost effective, yet an efficient devise that is used for active attitude control is magnetic torquer coil. The purpose of this paper is to describe the design and fabrication of a template to manufacture magnetic torquer coils of varying sizes and shapes.

Design/methodology/approach – Details about the development of the template design, analysis, and fabrication are discussed. The development status of the system is outlined and the working prototype of the device is described and some preliminary test results are given.

Findings – A fully functional prototype of the template has been developed and testing has been conducted that demonstrated the effectiveness of the device. Magnetic torquer coils of varying sizes were fabricated and tested. A finite element analysis was performed by modeling the characteristics of the fabricated coils to determine thermally induced stresses and deformations during its space operations.

Practical implications – The paper illustrates and demonstrates an effective application of torquer coil template in the satellite fabrication industry. The benefits from the approach are generally applicable to any future university and industry missions using picosatellite technology.

Originality/value – The designed template satisfied all the constraints and requirements. Furthermore, its advantages include scalability, modularity, and its capability to fabricate magnetic torquer coils of varying sizes and shapes.