• Attitude determination for small satellites using gps signal-to-noise ratio

      Peters, Daniel; Raskovic, Dejan; Hawkins, Joseph; Thorsen, Denise (2014-05)
      An embedded system for GPS-based attitude determination (AD) using signal-to-noise (SNR) measurements was developed for CubeSat applications. The design serves as an evaluation testbed for conducting ground based experiments using various computational methods and antenna types to determine the optimum AD accuracy. Raw GPS data is also stored to non-volatile memory for downloading and post analysis. Two low-power microcontrollers are used for processing and to display information on a graphic screen for real-time performance evaluations. A new parallel inter-processor communication protocol was developed that is faster and uses less power than existing standard protocols. A shorted annular patch (SAP) antenna was fabricated for the initial ground-based AD experiments with the testbed. Static AD estimations with RMS errors in the range of 2.5° to 4.8° were achieved over a range of off-zenith attitudes.