3 April 2015 Low frequency motion measurement and control of spacecrafts and satellites
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This paper describes a new mechanical application of the Watt-linkage for the development and implementation of mono-axial sensors aimed to low frequency motion measurement and control of spacecrafts and satellites. The basic component of these sensors is the one dimensional UNISA Folded Pendulum mechanical sensor, developed for ground-based applications, whose unique features are due to a very effective optimization of the effects of gravitational force on the folded pendulum mechanical components, that allowed the design and implementation of FP sensors compact (< 20 cm), light (< 300 g), scalable, tunable resonance frequency < 200mHz), with large band (10−6 Hz − 100Hz), high quality factor (Q > 15000 in vacuum at 1Hz), with good immunity to environmental noises and sensitivity, guaranteed by an integrated laser optical readout, and fully adaptable to the specific requirements of the application. In this paper we show how to extend the application of ground-based FP also to space, in absence of gravity, still keeping all the above interesting features and characteristics that make this class of sensors very effective in terms of large band, especially in the low frequency, sensitivity and long term reliability. Preliminary measurements on a prototype confirm the feasibility, showing also that very good performances can be relatively easily obtained.
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F. Acernese, F. Acernese, G. Giordano, G. Giordano, R. Romano, R. Romano, F. Barone, F. Barone, "Low frequency motion measurement and control of spacecrafts and satellites", Proc. SPIE 9435, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2015, 94350Y (3 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2083310; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2083310

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