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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 459573, 17 pages
Research Article

Efficiency of Hysteresis Rods in Small Spacecraft Attitude Stabilization

Instituto Universitario de Microgravedad “Ignacio Da Riva” (IDR), ETSI Aeronauticos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Plaza del Cardenal Cisneros 3, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Received 12 October 2013; Accepted 1 December 2013

Academic Editors: D. Missirlis and F. Topputo

Copyright © 2013 Assal Farrahi and Ángel Sanz-Andrés. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A semiempirical method for predicting the damping efficiency of hysteresis rods on-board small satellites is presented. It is based on the evaluation of dissipating energy variation of different ferromagnetic materials for two different rod shapes: thin film and circular cross-section rods, as a function of their elongation. Based on this formulation, an optimum design considering the size of hysteresis rods, their cross section shape, and layout has been proposed. Finally, the formulation developed was applied to the case of four existing small satellites, whose corresponding in-flight data are published. A good agreement between the estimated rotational speed decay time and the in-flight data has been observed.