Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Francis Bourne

Second Advisor

Hector Gutierrez

Third Advisor

Razvan Rusovici

Fourth Advisor

Ashok Pandit


A satellite attitude control system was developed in MathWork’s Simulink for a 6U CubeSat with a flexible appendage payload. The flexible appendage is a boom that is able to store into a compact size and deploy out to 1 meter. The boom deploys a sensor attached to the end of the boom. The boom/sensor payload was modeled as a spring-mass-damper system. The equivalent spring constant of the payload was determined by the the natural frequency of the system. A modal analysis in ANSYS Mechanical was used to determine the natural frequencies and mode shapes of the payload. The attitude control simulation was run using environmental disturbances in low Earth orbit to excite the system. The response of the CubeSat and payload was simulated and control gains tuned to determine performance. The control system was able to hold the CubeSat to with ±0.5◦ of nadir over one orbit at 400km altitude. This thesis describes the design and analysis for an attitude control system of a 6U CubeSat with a flexible appendage and sensor payload. iii