AAS 99-136

The Spin Axis Determination Package

W. Sullivan, M. Paluszek, D. Surka

Princeton Satellite Systems, Princeton, NJ


This paper will present a Matlab-based application for performing attitude determination for a spinning spacecraft. The algorithms in this application have been used to successfully determine the spin-axis attitude of spacecraft on four commercial launches. The package is directly applicable to spinning spacecraft which use a sun sensor and one or two horizon sensors for attitude sensing. The recent addition of a graphical user interface has made these algorithms much more accessible and easier to use. First the user interface will be introduced and various features demonstrated. Each of the attitude determination algorithms will be presented, and its advantages, disadvantages, and uses briefly discussed. A sample data set will be used to demonstrate an attitude solution as well as additional features of the application.