Patent Number: 6,293,501

Title: Spacecraft momentum management system

Abstract: A momentum control system for driving the momentum of a spinning spacecraft to zero while it spins around a sunline. The system includes a sun sensor for determining the position of the sun, a suite of tachometers for determining the momentum stored in the spacecraft, and a stored movement sensor. Each of the readings from these sensors is fed to a controller. The controller also monitors the magnitude of the spacecraft overturning momentum and the windmill momentum. If the overturning momentum is outside acceptable limits then the rotation rate of the spacecraft is modulated to drive the overturning momentum towards zero. If the windmill momentum exceeds acceptable limits, the angle of the solar panel is adjusted to drive the windmill momentum towards zero.

Inventors: Kurland; Jeffrey A. (Marina Del Rey, CA)

Assignee: Hughes Electronics Corporation

International Classification: B64G 1/36 (20060101); B64G 1/28 (20060101); B64G 1/24 (20060101); B64G 001/24 ()

Expiration Date: 09/25/2018