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Mission Objectives

The main purpose of the PACE mission is to conduct attitude control experiments. Several types of attitude sensors and actuators are integrated in the satellite in order to allow the in-orbit evaluation of different attitude determination and control strategies. During the mission lifetime the satellite will collect and downlink it's attitude information (as well as the data obtained from temperature sensors, current monitors, and other sensors). This data shall then be processed on ground to evaluate the performance of the satellite's attitude control. It is foreseen that these data will help to improve the simulation models for attitude control of very small satellites.

In addition to this, the PACE mission is also a technology demonstrator for enabling small satellite technologies, to be used on future missions. Most of the components and systems have been developed indigenously and from the scratch. A success in space would verify them space-proven and transferable to other satellite designs.

Expected Results

After the satellite has been launched into orbit the initial acquisition phase will commence at which the satellite will be configured and brought into nominal mode. Once the satellite is nominally operative the attitude control experiments will start. Several sets of control laws are to be uplinked and executed sequentially. This phase will last for about three months. Thereafter the mission operations shall be switched to autonomous operation, to obtain long-time measurements of the satellite's behavior in space, which will be used to improve simulation models.
 

 

 


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