Attitude Orientation Control for a Spinning Satellite

by Gerald P. Frost


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The Department of the Air Force, Headquarters Space Systems Division, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are currently involved in litigation with Hughes Aircraft Company over the alleged infringement of the "Williams patent," which describes a method for attitude control of a spin-stabilized vehicle. This Note summarizes pre-1960 RAND work on this subject and presents information obtained from RAND personnel who are knowledgeable in this area. The Note also reviews the TIROS II magnetic torque attitude control method.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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