SunSpace was established in 2000 as a spin-off from Stellenbosch University following the successful launch of SUNSAT by NASA with a Delta-II launch vehicle. During the past decade SunSpace has developed and delivered numerous satellite components, subsystems and two flight model satellite, now operational in space. This blog documents the mission of Sumbandila (funded by the DST), launched on a Soyuz-2.1b on 17 September 2009. SunSpace places a high premium on a strong partnership with the South African Government for supplying the ongoing satellite needs of our government.

03 October 2009

Satellite Nadir pointing

The ADCS computer now runs a Y-momentum wheel controller that stabilizes the satellite  with near-zero roll and yaw angles using data from the coarse sun sensors and a magnetorquer nutation damping controller.  The main solar panel faces the sun in this control mode.  The Y-wheel is controlled to track a reference pitch angle (as close as possible to zero).

With the satellite now Nadir pointing (ie the imager aperture and antennas continuously faces in the direction of Earth), our communication with the satellite has improved further.  The next step is to start commissioning the various attitude sensors so that we can activate full three-axis control on the satellite.

All other systems continue to operate within nominal limits.

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Current Keplerian Elements

Last Update: 1 Febr 2010
Element set: 404

1 35870U 09049F   10032.48635300  .00000433  00000-0  21444-4 0  4040
2 35870 097.3525 084.8560 0011505 166.1189 300.7196 15.22856092 20818