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GA CubeSat Simulator Documentation

Program Authors:
Andreas Peukert
Gregor Z. Hanuschak
Eric Tapio

1.1.1.1 Getting Started
In order to run the GA CubeSat simulator you will need a copy of the program as well as
MATLAB software. You will also need to “Set Path” on the “Project_GA” folder.

1.1.1.2 Satellites
If you want the program to yield meaningful results, you should put satellites in the
simulation before you run it. There are two ways to do this.

1.1.1.3 Add a New Satellite (Method 1)
One way to add a satellite is to create a new one. To do this, click on the “Add Satellite”
button in the main “GUI Environment” screen. This will create a default satellite with an
equatorial orbit, a CDH, a payload, and no other subsystems (these defaults can of course
be changed). This will also create two windows: a visualization of the satellite’s current
attitude and a visualization of the satellite’s current orbit with respect to a 3-dimensional
Earth.

Attitude and orbit visualization windows

1.1.1.4 Loading a Saved Satellite (Method 2)
The other way to add a satellite is to load a saved satellite. Go to the menu bar at the top
of the GUI Environment and choose “Load Satellite” from the “Satellite” pull-down
menu. Find the correct directory and select the satellite you want to load.

1.1.1.5 Starting the Simulation
The text field displaying the current time will read “1/1/2000 12:00:00”, the default start
time. To start the simulation at a time other than the current time, simply edit the text
field and enter your desired start time. Remember to keep your new start time in the
same format as the default.

Note that the current time will increment by the time step. The default time step is 60
seconds, but this can be changed if desired. If you want a very accurate attitude

and the 2D Earth. GUIEnvironment display As time goes by. It is generally not a good idea to make the time step any bigger. since this will start to make the simulation less accurate. you’ll notice changes in the three visualizations: the 3D satellite visualization. The simulation will pause (stop) when the “Start/Stop” button is depressed (clicked again). you’ll notice the tracing of the satellite ground track (or ground tracks if multiple satellite are modeled) as well as the motion of the sun and moon.simulation. it is a good idea to make the time step even smaller. The simulation will begin when the “Start/Stop” button in the GUIEnvironment is clicked once. On the 2D Earth. . possibly as small as five seconds. the 3D Earth.

at any time. click and highlight the name of the satellite of interest and then click “Open Satellite. • “Apply” – This button applies changes you’ve made but does not exit (the GUI remains open).6 The “OK”.1. “Cancel”. A satellite with ground track in a started simulation 1.1. 1. even when the simulation is running.1.7 The “Open Satellite” Button The satellite list box displays all the currently simulated satellites. In the GUIEnviornment’s satellite list box. Clicking the “Open Satellite” button also gives you the opportunity to edit the satellite details and add subsystems to the satellite. and “Apply” Buttons There are three buttons common to nearly all GUIs in the GA CubeSat Simulator: • “OK” – This button applies any changes you’ve made and exits the current GUI. By clicking the “Open Satellite” button you can obtain more information on any of the satellites.” The following GUISatellite window will appear: .1. • “Cancel” – This button exits the current GUI without applying any changes.

It can therefore not be edited directly. • Satellite inertia matrix. Also displayed. you must click “Reset” in the environment GUI after clicking “Apply” or “OK” click in the satellite GUI. • Initial satellite attitude (quaternion and x/y/z angular velocities). In order to apply any changes you make to the initial satellite attitude. all of which can be edited: • Name of the satellite. • Satellite drag coefficient. Clicking on the “Position&Velocity” button returns you to the default view. • Cumulative satellite cost. • Initial satellite position and velocity. click on the “Keplerian elements” button. GUISatellite display The GUI displays the following information. In order to apply any changes you make to the initial satellite orbit. but can not be changed directly: . This information comes from the sum of the cost of the satellite structure plus the cost of the subsystems. If you prefer to edit the Keplerian elements. you must click “Reset” in the environment GUI after clicking “Apply” or “OK” click in the satellite GUI.

“ComDataHand” (for command and data handling).1. • Current satellite attitude (quaternion and x/y/z angular velocities). no operational strategy.9 Viewing Satellite Subsystems In the satellite GUI. Clicking on the “Position&Velocity” button returns you to the default view. • “LatitudeBased” – Turn a subsystem “on” only when the satellite is within a given latitude range. 1. • Solar radiation pressure. • Total satellite mass. “ElecPowSys” (for electrical power systems). “Comm” (for communication).9. and “Payload” (for payload).1.1.1. This is computed from the weight of the satellite structure and its onboard subsystems. • Magnetic field vector. • “DistanceBased” – Turn a subsystem “on” only when it is within a given distance of a given groundstation (or groundstations if “all” is selected). To see these as Keplerian elements.1 Subsystems: AttOrbContrSys .” The purpose of an operational strategy is to conserve power. • Current satellite position and velocity.1. note that the subsystem list box contains the subsystems “AttOrbContrSys” (for attitude and orbit control). To view a particular subsystem. click on the “Keplerian elements” button. 1. “Structure” (for viewing/changing the structure mass). This is computed by summing the individual costs of the subsystems. • Total satellite cost.1.” 1. There are three options on how to limit a subsystems use by means of an “Operational Strategy”: • “Manual” – Default setting. By turning “on” a particular subsystem only when it is absolutely needed we can save battery life.8 Introduction to Subsystems: Operational Strategy Many satellite subsystems in the GA CubeSat Simulator include the option for using an “Operational Strategy. click and highlight the name of the subsystem and click “Open subsystem.

Also note that no power usage calculations will be made for a GPS system unless its “Status” field is set to “On. GUIAttOrbContrSys display • GPS o “Add GPS” creates a new GPS with default values and adds it to the GPS list box.” Mass calculations are performed regardless of “Status. o “Delete GPS” deletes the currently highlighted GPS system. Note that you can not directly change the necessary “Power” required by the GPS system. This is indirectly calculated from current and voltage fields and is only updated when the simulation is running.” since the subsystem physically resides on the satellite even if it’s turned off. . o “Open GPS” opens a details window for the currently highlighted GPS system.

o “Open MagnTorq” opens a details window for the currently highlighted magnetotorquer system. Also note that no power usage calculations will be made for a magnetotorquer system unless its “Status” field is set to “On.” Mass calculations are performed regardless of “Status.” since the subsystem physically resides on the satellite even if it’s turned off. . o “Delete MagnTorq” deletes the currently highlighted magnetotorquer system. Note you can not directly change the necessary “Power” required by the magnetotorquer system. This is indirectly calculated from current and voltage fields and is only updated when the simulation is running. GUIGlobPosSys display • MagnTorq o “Add MagnTorq” creates a new magnetotorquer subsystem with default values and adds it to the magnetotorquer list box.

2 Subsystems: ComDataHand . area. required voltage. required current. but not magnetic induction. or density. but not windings. 1. mass.1. GUIMagnTorquer display Other notes on Magnetotorquers: • If “Type” is set to “Coil” you can set the windings. required voltage. area. required current. mass. and density. and operational strategy. or operational strategy. • If “Type” is set to “Permanent Magnet” you can set magnetic induction.1.9.

1. This is calculated from the required voltage and current fields and only updated while the simulation is running. GUIComDataHand display The details window for this subsystem will allow you to set almost all properties for ComDataHand.3 Subsystems: Comm .” since the subsystem physically resides on the satellite even if it’s turned off. No power calculations will be made while the “Status” field is set to “Off. One notable exception to this rule is the required power.” Mass calculations however are performed regardless of “Status.9.1.1.

This is indirectly calculated from current and voltage fields and is only updated when the simulation is running.” since the subsystem physically resides on the satellite even if it’s turned off.” Mass calculations are performed regardless of “Status. . o “Delete Modem” deletes the currently highlighted modem system. GUIComm display • Modems o “Add Modem” creates a new modem with default values and adds it to the modem list box. Note that you can not directly change the necessary “Power” required by the modem system. o “Open Modem” opens a details window for the currently highlighted modem system. Also note that no power usage calculations will be made for a modem system unless its “Status” field is set to “On.

GUIModem display • Receivers o “Add Receiver” creates a new receiver subsystem with default values and adds it to the receiver list box. . o “Open Receiver” opens a details window for the currently highlighted receiver system. o “Delete Receiver” deletes the currently highlighted receiver system.” since the subsystem physically resides on the satellite even if it’s turned off. This is indirectly calculated from current and voltage fields and is only updated when the simulation is running.” Mass calculations are performed regardless of “Status. Also note that no power usage calculations will be made for a receiver system unless its “Status” field is set to “On. Note that you can not directly change the necessary “Power” required by the receiver system.

Also note that no power usage calculations will be made for a transmitter system unless its “Status” field is set to “On. o “Open Transmitter” opens a details window for the currently highlighted transmitter system. . o “Delete Transmitter” deletes the currently highlighted transmitter system.” since the subsystem physically resides on the satellite even if it’s turned off. Note that you can not directly change the necessary “Power” required by the transmitter system. GUIReceiver display • Transmitters o “Add Transmitter” creates a new transmitter with default values and adds it to the transmitter list box. This is indirectly calculated from current and voltage fields and is only updated when the simulation is running.” Mass calculations are performed regardless of “Status.

1.1. GUITransmitter display 1.4 Subsystems: ElecPowSys .9.

and PowDistr (power distribution). 1.1 Subsystems: ElecPowSys: PowGen . GUIElecPowSys display The electrical power subsystem is divided into three more specific subsystems: PowGen (power generation/solar panels). Click and highlight the specific subsystem of interest and the click “Open subsystem” for more details.4. PowStor (power storage/batteries).1.1.9.

” Mass calculations are performed regardless of “Status. • “Open SA” opens a details window for the currently highlighted GPS system. • “Delete SA” deletes the currently highlighted solar array.” since the subsystem physically resides on the satellite even if it’s turned off. Note that you can not directly change the “Current” or “Power” produced by the solar array. It displays the total power generation vs. Current is indirectly calculated from the incoming sunlight and power is indirectly calculated from this and what’s in the voltage field. Both are only updated when the simulation is running. Note that no power supply calculations will be made for a solar array unless its “Status” field is set to “On. time by summing the contribution of all the solar arrays in the neighboring list box. GUIPowGen display • The solar array plot updates in real-time while the simulation is running. . • “Add SA” creates a new solar array with default values and adds it to the solar array list box.

2 Subsystems: ElecPowSys: PowStor .1.9. GUISolarArray display 1.1.4.

.” since the subsystem physically resides on the satellite even if it’s turned off. • “Add Battery” creates a new battery with default values and adds it to the battery list box. Note that no power calculations will be made for a battery unless its “Status” field is set to “On. time by summing the power stored in all the batteries in the neighboring list box. • “Open Battery” opens a details window for the currently highlighted battery. GUIPowStor display • The battery plot updates in real-time while the simulation is running. Note that you can not directly change “Current” stored in the battery (since this wouldn’t make sense anyway). • “Delete Battery” deletes the currently highlighted battery.” Mass calculations are performed regardless of “Status. It displays power storage vs.

3 Subsystems: ElecPowSys: PowDistr GUIPowDistr display The job of this interface is to provide information on the power status of the satellite as a whole. .1. The three plots update in real-time while the simulation is running.4. GUIBattery display 1.1.9.

1.6 Subsystems: Payload . time. • Power Income Plot: Displays cumulative power generation for all solar arrays vs.9. time for all subsystems in the neighboring list box.1.1. time.1. • Battery Power Income Plot: Displays cumulative power storage for all batteries vs. 1.5 Subsystems: Structure GUIStructure display Any satellite mass or cost not previously accounted for can be entered here. • Subsystem Power Need Plot: Displays cumulative power need vs.9. 1. The structure subsystem also lets you edit the type of the satellite structure.

Note that you can not directly change the necessary “Power” required by the payload. 1. Go to the menu bar at the top of the GUI Environment and choose “Save Satellite” from the “Satellite” pull-down menu. GUIPayload display The payload GUI is concerned only with power details and operational strategy. 1.1. Also note that no power usage calculations will be made for a payload unless its “Status” field is set to “On.1.1.” since the payload physically resides on the satellite even if it’s turned off. This is indirectly calculated from current and voltage fields and is only updated when the simulation is running.1.11 Central Body To change properties for the Central Body.” Mass calculations are performed regardless of “Status. go to the menu bar at the top of the GUI Environment and choose “Central Body” and then “Properties.10 Saving a Satellite Once you have a satellite with the specific details for a satellite.” The following window will appear: . you probably want to save it to avoid repeating the set up process. Find the correct directory and select the satellite you want to load.

• Groundstations 1.1 Central Body:Groundstations Groundstations have a name and position. The position can be edited or viewed using geodetic or ECI coordinate systems by simply clicking the corresponding button.1. GUICentrBody display Most of this GUI is just for information purposes.11.1. . but the following can be changed: • Magnetic Field Model • Atmosphere Model (although there is currently only one choice). Groundstations will appear on the two-dimensional Earth as blue circles.

” The following window will appear: .1.1. GUIGroundStation display 1. go to the menu bar at the top of the GUI Environment and choose “Third Bodies” and then “Properties.12 Third Bodies To view the properties of the third bodies.

Click on the corresponding name in the list in order to see its properties. GUIThirdBody display Currently the Sun and the Moon are the only third bodies. .