2014 Volume 12 Issue ists29 Pages Td_1-Td_6
The Facility for Attitude Control Experiments (FACE) has been implemented at the Institute of Space Systems of German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Bremen, Germany. The facility's objective is testing and verification of the Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) under the realistic environment in low Earth orbit. Regarding the evolving ADCS software and hardware, a complete end-to-end verification of ADCS significantly contributes to the mission success. FACE consists of a hemispherical air-bearing with satellite component platform, preliminary solar simulator, and magnetic field simulator. Besides, the implemented automatic center of mass (CoM) calibration software adjusts the CoM of the whole platform and, thus, it can perform minimal friction motions in 3 axes as if in orbit. Furthermore, the platform provides multi-output power distribution system and WLAN command interface. Thus a self-sustaining satellite is arranged on the platform which can be subjected to various tests. A hardware-in-the-loop test using flight components can be performed simply by mounting the desired sensor or actuator onto the platform. In particular, FACE is now prepared for the system verification of DLR's CompactSatellite program. We introduce the real-time test bench with specific devices, their performances, and future extensions in progress.