CaNOP 3U CubeSat Attitude Determination and Control Testing System: Helmholtz Cage Design

Celestine Elyse Ananda, Nicholas Bartel


Canopy Near Infrared Observing Project (CaNOP) is a WSGC-funded 3U CubeSat program to make multispectral reflectance measurements across a range of global forests.  The project requires active attitude knowledge and control. This paper describes the design and construction of a test apparatus to validate the detumbling and attitude control systems of the CaNOP satellite. The apparatus generates a uniform 3-axis adjustable magnetic field to simulate on-orbit magnetic conditions. A Helmholtz cage implements six coils to create a region of uniform and adjustable magnetic field in which to test the orientation and attitude determination and control systems of a satellite.


Helmholtz; CubeSat; ADCS; ADACS; Testing; Magnetism; Electromagnetism

Full Text:



“Pitch, Roll, and Yaw.†Touring Machine Company, Touring Machine Company, 29 Nov. 2007,

“Helmholtz Coil.†Helmholtz Coil,

Pramoda, K. e. a., “Square Loop Coil System for Balancing and Calibration of Second-Order SQUID Gradiometers,†Journal of Physics: Conference Series 208, 2010

Lee, G., Kang, C., and Chang, J., “Square Loop Coil System for Balancing and Calibration of Second-Order SQUID Gradiometers, 2011 IEEE,†IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2007, pp. 3769–377

Brewer, Megan R. “CubeSat Attitude Determination and Helmholtz Cage Design.†DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE AIR UNIVERSITY, 2012.

Rudd, M. E., and J. R. Craig. “Optimum Spacing of Square and Circular Coil Pairs.†Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 39, no. 9, 1968, pp. 1372–1374., doi:10.1063/1.1683678.

Euripides, Peter. “Square Helmholtz Coils CDF.†Wolfram Demonstrations Project, Peter Euripides, 27 Dec. 2007,



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.