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Global Positioning

Global Positioning

LitSat-1 is a technology demonstration representing one of two Lithuanian CubeSats that uses internal gyroscopes, accelerometers, magnetometers, solar sensors and a global positioning receiver to determine the satellite’s orientation.

Customer Name: Space Science and Technology Institute
Research: Global Positioning
NanoRacks Facility: Smallsat Deployment
Mission Duration: 09/2013 – 03/2014
Mission Status: Deployed in LEO
More Info: From litsat1.eu/

Research Overview
Results from NanoRacks-LitSat-1 pave the way for a new type of satellite attitude control that replaces typical reaction-wheel gyroscopes.

  • LitSat-1 determines the satellite attitude by measuring the data from Gyro, Magnetic, and sun sensors as well as a GPS receiver.
  • Is being launched in preparation for the technology demonstration mission of satellite attitude control by means of Piezoelectric reaction sphere.
  • Tests the radio amateur linear transponder.


NanoRacks LitSat

The NanoRacks-LitSat-1 satellite, under contract with NanoRacks LLC., is brought to the ISS by the Orbital Cygnus resupply mission one. After releasing to space by the robotic arm from the Kibo module the power supply and the antennas of the satellite are deployed with the delay of 40 min.

The collection of the data for the determination of satellite attitude based on measurements of gyro, magnetic, and sun sensors is performed for one week.

These data are used for preparation of the next technology demonstration mission of satellite attitude control by means of Piezoelectric reaction sphere. In a week after the deployment the testing of the radio amateur linear transponder in different modes (continuous wave (CW), single sideband (SSB), frequency modulation (FM) Voice) is planned.

The next experiment tests the space qualified GPS receiver and collects processed and raw data. In the remaining period of flight the continuation of collection of satellite attitude data and operation of the linear amateur transponder is planned.

As the first space mission from Lithuania, NanoRacks-LitSat-1 paves the way for future space exploration from the northern European nation. Technology demonstrations testing satellite positioning systems also benefit the international small-satellite community. The investigation enables development of a piezoelectric reaction sphere and piezoelectric suspension damper, a different type of satellite-controlling system that is lighter and cheaper than the typical control system using three reaction wheels.

Satellites provide telecommunications, entertainment, global positioning data, and many other services for the benefit of people on Earth. Improving satellite orientation and control technology lowers costs and risks for future satellites.

Read more at the LitSat-1 website.

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