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I am working on the design of a cubesat, it weighs approximately 30 kg and I am doing the Navigation and Guide Control system.

I was wondering if I had some blueprint for some RCS or Reaction Wheels for a 30 kg cubesat.

From computer I will use a mega Arduino, from vector state I will use sensors BMO055 and BMP388.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's quite a heavy cubesat! For example a 6U 30 kg would have an average density of 5 g/cm^3. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Feb 19 at 1:30
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    $\begingroup$ the 80% its xenon $\endgroup$ – Valentino Zaffrani Feb 19 at 3:10
  • $\begingroup$ I see! The density of liquid xenon is about 3 g/cm^3 but there may be a steel container as well. Ya if it's like 10U and mostly xenon it makes sense. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Feb 19 at 3:24
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    $\begingroup$ My goal is reach the Moon orbit in a decent time(5 years) $\endgroup$ – Valentino Zaffrani Feb 19 at 3:25
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    $\begingroup$ You should consider not to use "RCS or Reaction Wheel" but to use "RCS and Reaction Wheel" -> You need to "unload" the reaction wheels when they reach a maximum spin rate $\endgroup$ – CallMeTom Feb 19 at 8:20
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While there are some commercially available thrusters for Cubesats, any kind of thruster on a Cubesat places you very much in experimental territory.

(Additionally, any system that includes liquid or gaseous fuel under pressure will make it significantly harder to get a cubesat approved to be launched, since it's against the usual rules and will need a waiver. Some ion thruster designs that use solid or nonpressurized liquid fuels do exist.)

Also, you're missing an important significant option: Magnetic torquers. These consist of an array of electromagnetic coils that act on the Earth's magnetic field to rotate the satellite. They're simple, lightweight, don't have moving parts or limited supplies of fuel, and are well-tested and well-validated. The downside is that they obviously don't work outside Earth orbit, and I would not be surprised if they're impractical way out towards the moon -- you will need to do further research on that.

Reaction wheels alone are not a complete option, because while they let you rotate your spacecraft without expending fuel, they can't unload angular momentum, just like somebody can't lift themselves up by their bootstraps. You need an external option, which can be an RCS or magnetorquers, or potentially some other options I am not aware of.

(The Hubble Space Telescope uses magnetorquers and reaction wheels. It has no RCS, in part because they didn't want to have the problem with vibration from firing thrusters. The James Webb Space Telescope, which is way out in cislunar space and needs stationkeeping, does have an RCS.)

(I would also caution you about the use of a mega Arduino. If you're going out towards the Moon you will potentially have more radiation exposure, even more if you pass through the van Allen belts. You will want to do research on radiation-tolerant designs and on what microcontrollers are best for this purpose, which is completely out of my area of expertise. You also might want something with more performance for controls and navigation math, though performance tends to be at the cost of radiation resistance)

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