Survey, Statistical Analysis and Classification of Launched CubeSat Missions with Emphasis on the Attitude Control Method
Polat, Halis C.
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CubeSat missions have evolved, becoming increasingly capable and complex since their first launch. Rela- tively high adoption rates and advances in technology allow mission developers to choose from different orbital altitudes, CubeSat configurations, and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) subsystems. To fulfill particular mis- sion requirements, designers have also developed custom subsystems. In this study, a survey of the attitude con- trol method for each individual launched CubeSat mission is provided, allowing present and future trends to be obtained for specific missions, altitudes, and CubeSat configurations. It is observed that the mission type has an impact on choosing the attitude control method. In particular, Earth observation missions usually require active attitude control with precise pointing requirements. Increased adoption and miniaturization has made active control a more widespread control method in recent years, outnumbering passive control in each year since 2011. In addition, there has been a trend towards more use of larger CubeSats, which has levelled off at the 3U level; 6U configurations are still very rare. The results of this survey and analysis can help developers identify future trends helping them to better address CubeSat community needs. In addition, the provided results can be used to obtain more realistic simulations and CubeSat population models.
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