NPSAT1 MEMS 3-AXIS Rate Sensor Suite Performance, Characterization, and Flight Unit Acceptance Testing
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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NPSAT1 is a small satellite providing education and hands-on experience to NPS students it also serves as a platform for small satellite technology proof-of-concept demonstrations and experiments. One of these experiments is the MEMS rate sensor experiment. Comprising a triad of COTS MEMS devices, this experiment will use the MEMS rate sensors to measure angular rates for NPSAT1. The NPSAT1 MEMS 3-Axis rate sensor was originally characterized and tested in 2007. Subsequently, the decision was made to fly the MEMS subsystem unpressurized. This new requirement, along with the replacement of a damaged sensor, necessitated the recalibration of the MEMS subsystem. In addition, the rate compensation algorithm has been updated by determining the systematic errors of the subsystem-bias, thermal and pressure in-run drift, scale factor errors, and nonorthogonality through thermal ramp tests and rate transfer tests. Furthermore, other inertial sensor error sources such as hysteresis, repeatability, run-torun error, and noise have been investigated. Acceptance testing was also performed to investigate vibration sensitivity and screen for workmanship defects. The performance and characterization results verify that the MEMS subsystem is able to meet the flight requirements for rates 0.1 degsec, while the acceptance tests demonstrate the robustness and reliability of the unit.
- Unmanned Spacecraft