For experimental investigations on satellite attitude control systems, there is a laboratory test bench for mechatronic components at the institute for automation. In particular, this bench is for measurements and tests of sensor-, positioning and data transmission technologies in real-time conditions. The single-axis rotation of a satellite is emulated here.

Disturbing torques cause an unintentional rotation of a satellite about its mass centre axes. The attitude of a satellite has to be stabilised by a closed control loop for a precise pointing e.g. to the Earth's centre.

For achieving this task, an actuator for satellite pointing is emulated by the mechatronic bench. This actuator is represented by a momentum wheel (rotating mass rim) where by increasing or decreasing of the wheel speed the satellite can be turned and therefore be pointed to an arbitrary position in space.

The following problems can be solved in the framework of a student project at the mechatronics bench:

- Composition of a MATLAB simulation model for the emulation of the inertia of a single-axis stabilised satellite;
- Extension of the model to non-linear effect (friction, quantisation errors, amplitude limits ...), and simulation of a closed positioning control loop for stabilising the satellite's attitude;
- Comparision of the simulation results to the experimentially measured control System and control loop behaviour;
- Extension of the test bench to allow data transmission and data processing through a CAN interface;
- Characterisation and determination of the full features of the hardware simulator by experimental measurements at the bench; system evaluation.