Introduction of Research

  1. HOME>
  2. Introduction of Research>
  3. Research on core technologies for spacecraft (electrical power subsystems)>
  4. Miniaturized Attitude Control Sensors and Actuators in an All-in-one Module

Miniaturized Attitude Control Sensors and Actuators in an All-in-one Module

Overview of research


Reducing the weight and volume of the equipment (including sensors and actuators) necessary for attitude control to the greatest possible extent is effective in reducing the size and cost of a satellite and saving its space.

This research also covers the research and development of a small module that can be mounted onboard a satellite as a package consisting of wheels and gyroscopes.

Not only realizing more compact and lightweight satellites, the research also aims for applications in various fields.



Research Videos


Miniaturized Attitude Control Sensors and Actuators in an All-in-one ModuleMiniaturized Attitude Control Sensors and Actuators in an All-in-one Module (2:01)



Demonstraition movie of a 100-mm size unitDemonstraition movie of a 100-mm size unit (0:29)



Demonstraition movie of a 31-mm size unitDemonstraition movie of a 31-mm size unit (1:07)


※In some browsers, contents may not display correctly.



Overview of the Miniaturized Attitude Control Sensors and Actuators in an All-in-one Module

Configuration of a 100-mm size unit
Configuration of a 100-mm size unit


  • The realized body only weighs a total of 1.34 kg (including a wireless communicator and a battery), and measures 10×10×10 cm3 in size.
  • The control computer equipped with a system-on-chip (PSoC®) controls and measures at a 50-Hz cycle.
  • The module adopts six Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) sensors as the inertial measurement units (IMUs) and three brushless DC motors as the motors.
  • Arranging six IMU sensors (each sensor capable of measuring 3-axis rate and acceleration) on the module’s vertexes have improved attitude estimation accuracy.
  • The 3-axis wheels use brushless DC motors and the hall sensors built into the motors measure wheel rotational speed.
  • Each wheel axis is equipped with a newly developed thin electromagnetic brake.
  • The electromagnetic brake generates 2.1 Nm of braking torque at excitation and reduces the wheel rotational speed from 6000 rpm to zero within 100 ms, including demagnetization time.
  • The module also includes a wireless communicator for receiving telemetry data and transmitting commands, and small lithium polymer battery.


Applications of the Miniaturized Attitude Control Sensors and Actuators in an All-in-one Module

  • 3-axis attitude controller for small satellite
  • Exploration rover on microgravity asteroids
  • Attitude stabilizer for Drone
  • Modular Robots in Multi-agent System

The technology developed for the Miniaturized Attitude Control Sensors and Actuators in an All-in-one Module is fully demonstrated in the module, realizing both minimum weight and size (i.e. approx. 50 g including its guidance control computer, 6-axis inertial sensors, 3-axis wheels 31 mm in angular size). Its micro fan function of translational control can be extensionally equipped.




CG movie


Miniaturized Attitude Control Sensors and Actuators in an All-in-one Module -application to the Int-BallMiniaturized Attitude Control Sensors and Actuators in an All-in-one Module -application to the Int-Ball(2:44)


※In some browsers, contents may not display correctly.



Publications

  1. Mitani、Shigeto、Kanzawa、and Yamanaka、“Study of Miniaturized Three-axis Attitude Control Module”、59th Space Sciences and Technology Conference、Kagoshima、2015
  2. Mitani、 Shigeto、 Kanzawa and Yamanaka、 “High-Agility、 Miniaturized Attitude Control Sensors and Actuators in an All-in-one Module”、 ISTS30 Special Issue、 Vol. 14 (2016) No. ists30
  3. Kato、 Tanishima、 Yanagase、 Tsumaki and Mitani、 "Control of Rocket-propelled Miniature Exploration Robot"、 ICRA、Singapore、 2017


Public relations activities
  1. Introduction of the demonstration module of the research in “3. Strategy of JAXA’s R&D” at the 59th Space Sciences and Technology Conference (October 9, 2015)
  2. Exhibit of the 10-cm-sized demonstration module at the MAXON JAPAN booth at the International Robot Exhibition 2015 (December 2-5, 2015)
  3. Release as news that “JAXA has developed a robot standing on a single vertex (including a video)” by ITmedia News (updated on December 2, 2015)
  4. Exhibit of the 10-cm-sized demonstration module at the booth of Miki Pulley Co., Ltd. at the 20th Mechanical Components & Materials Technology Expo (M-Tech) (June 22-24, 2016)
  5. Appearing along with the 10-cm-size demonstration module in “Science View” broadcast by NHK WORLD TV for overseas (August 10-16, 2016)
  6. Published in issue No. 191 of “MIKI PULLEY GROUP NOW” by Miki Pulley (August 2016)
  7. Publication of an interview in the “30th anniversary commemorative issue” by MAXON JAPAN CORPORATION (October 2016)
  8. Exhibit at “Special exhibit of Space Robotics Laboratory!”, held at the 2016 special event open to the public at the JAXA Tsukuba Space Center (October 15, 2016)
  9. Appearing along with the 10-cm-sized module in NHK “Cosmic Front NEXT” (broadcasted on January 15, 2017)
  10. Appearing as an illustrative image in a video introducing the Research and Development Directorate (with the video now being shown in the “Space Dome” exhibition hall at the JAXA Tsukuba Space Center)