Optimized Design and Thermal Analysis of Printed Magnetorquer for Attitude Control of Reconfigurable Nanosatellites

M. R. Mughal, H. Ali, A. Ali, J. Praks, L. M. Reyneri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
349 Downloads (Pure)


An attitude control system (ACS) is one of the critical subsystems of any spacecraft and typically is in charge of de-tumbling, controlling, and orienting the satellite after initial deployment and during the satellite operations. The magnetorquer is a core magnetic attitude control actuator and, therefore, a good choice for nanosatellite attitude stabilization. There are various methods to achieve control torque using the magnetorquer. An innovative design of a printed magnetorquer has been proposed for the nanosatellites, which is modular, scalable, cost effective, less prone to failure, with reduce harness and power consumption since the traces are printed either on the top layer or inner layers of the printed circuit board. The analysis in terms of generated torque with a range of input applied voltages, trace widths, outer and inner-most trace lengths is presented to achieve the optimized design. The optimum operating voltage is selected to generate the desired torque while optimizing the torque to the power ratio. The results of the analysis in terms of the selection of optimized parameters, including torque to power ratio, generated magnetic dipole moment, and power consumption, have been validated practically on a CubeSat panel. The printed magnetorquer configuration is modular which is useful to achieve mission level stabilization requirements. For spin-stabilized satellites, the rotation time analysis has been performed using the printed magnetorquer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8792100
Pages (from-to)736-747
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
Issue number1
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Magnetic moments
  • Attitude control
  • Magnetic separation
  • Magnetic cores
  • Torque
  • Magnetic multilayers
  • Space vehicles
  • printed magnetorquer
  • attitude control
  • small satellites
  • thermal analysis
  • nanosatellites


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