Faculty Advisor

Demetriou, Michael A.


This project describes the development of the attitude determination and control, on board computing, and communications subsystems for an Earth orbiting nano-satellite. The goal of each subsystem is to enable the infrared spectrometer to collect data that can be used in tracking greenhouse gas concentrations. Gyroscopes, sun sensors, a magnetometer, magnetorquers, and orbital environment models are employed to meet the pointing requirements of the scientific instrument. The on board computer operates in conjunction will all other satellite subsystems as the main link between the software and hardware. Communication between the ground and the satellite is paramount for the transmission of scientific data back to Earth and simple commands to the spacecraft.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2011


Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering