dSPACE and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have signed a cooperation agreement on satellite modeling. Under the agreement, dSPACE will provide real-time-capable satellite models to the DLR’s Institute for Space Systems in Bremen. The institute is validating the models for its AsteroidFinder project and will use them to develop and test an attitude and orbit control system (AOCS). AsteroidFinder is a compact satellite mission planned by the DLR to detect asteroids inside the Earth’s solar orbit that could potentially collide with the Earth.
The validation process will qualify the dSPACE satellite models for use in other missions by the DLR and the European Space Agency (ESA). “We have found a competent cooperation partner with whom we can successfully perform future AOCS developments, especially for verification and test systems”, says Dr. Stephan Theil of the Institute for Space Systems. “This venture rounds off dSPACE’s product portfolio, enabling us to provide the space industry with turnkey HIL simulators to test AOCS systems, using our internationally proven HIL technology,” adds Dr. Dirk Spenneberg, who is responsible for Business Development for Satellite Test Systems at dSPACE.
A whole satellite can be simulated with the new satellite models, including its attached components such as solar panels. The models are open for easy extension by users, and include all the sensors and actuators required for testing an AOCS. The relevant environmental conditions, such as the atmosphere, magnetic fields, radiation pressure, and the gravity of the sun, the Earth, and the moon, can also be simulated. Satellites can be simulated on different orbits (MEO, GEO, LEO). The models have the high quality of the dSPACE Automotive Simulation Models (ASMs) and are ideal for use on a HIL system with dSPACE’s test and experiment tools ControlDesk, ModelDesk, AutomationDesk and MotionDesk. Offline simulation in Simulink can also be performed to test controller algorithms in early development phases.