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Theses and Internships

This page contains theses and intership available at the Microsatellites and Space Microsystems Laboratory. Please check the correct field (L/LM and Thesis/Intership) before contacting the referee

Laurea Magistrale (MSc)

Magnetic field modelling and simulations through a Helmholtz cage

The interaction between the satellite and earth magnetic field plays a very important role in the on-orbit dynamics simulations. The magnetic field has to be accurately modelled and simulated in the laboratory environment. The static and dynamic behaviour of magnetic fields generated by the Helmholtz cage and the satellite mock-up have to be characterized. This work can be divided in the following parts:

  • Modelling of the on-orbit magnetic field as function of the orbit parameters and time.
  • Characterization of the Helmholtz cage as a function of the control input and the disturbance rejection capabilities by means of magnetic field sensors.
  • Estimation of the residual dipole of the satellite and dynamic behaviour of the system through the simulations.

Filtering of Inertial Measurement Unit data for attitude determination

The performance of an attitude control system depends greatly on the accuracy of the input data. The data provided by IMU as well as by other sensors available on the attitude dynamics simulator must filtered before they can be profitably employed in the control loop. Different filtering and estimation techniques have to be implemented and tested to guarantee the best possible performance given the available hardware. The work can divided as follows:

  • Study and implementation of filtering algorithms for IMU in Matlab and Arduino programming languages.
  • Attitude determination by means on combination of different sensors, such as Sun sensors, Earth sensor, gyroscopes and .
  • Experimental testing in a real-time application, such as attitude and inertia matrix estimation.

Actuators development for nanosatellites

The actuators for nanosatellite have to comply with very strict requirements due to the limited available space, weight and power. However, the performance requirements could be very strict and different actuations have to be compared and analysed before the satellite design. As part of the work, development and testing of a simple actuator have to be done. According to the mission requirement, magnetorquer, mass shifter, torque wheel have to be developed. Thanks to the three-axis simulator testbed developed in the laboratory, the developed hardware can be experimentally tested.

Miniaturized Sun sensor for nanosatellites.

Given the availability of a Sun simulator within the testbed, the proposed activity consists of the design and prototyping of a miniaturized sun-sensor for nanosatellites.

Earth Simulator.

 Infrared Horizon Sensors (IHR) are commonly employed onboard of small satellites, as they provide information on the nadir-direction by detecting the infrared Earth limb. An IHR prototype is currently under development at the laboratory: the proposed activity consists of developing an Earth simulator (such as an heated disc) to be integrated within the attitude dynamics testbed for testing the IHR prototype.


Prof. Paolo Tortora

Via Fontanelle 40, 47121 Forlì (FC)

+39 0543 374456

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Available by appointment.

Prof. Dario Modenini

Via Fontanelle 40, 47121 Forlì (FC)

+39 0543 374 450

Write an e-mail

Available by appointment

Prof. Alfredo Locarini

Via Fontanelle 40, 47121 Forlì (FC)

Write an e-mail

Available by appointment