Tensor Tech developed the world’s smallest attitude control system (ACS) employing the spherical motor technology

Tensor Tech developed the world’s smallest attitude control system (ACS) employing the spherical motor technology

Tensor Tech is an electronics manufacturer based in Taipei, Taiwan. It has develop the global’s smallest satellite attitude control system by making use of the spherical motor technology. The device weighs only 400grams. Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA) chose Tensor Tech as one of the startup companies to showcase their groundbreaking work in this year’s world’s biggest tech event, CES 2021.

Thomas Yen, Tensor Tech co-founder and CEO revealed that the biggest challenge that hinders space exploration companies’ success is the high costs of building satellites and launching rockets. “There are two obstacles for commercial players to enter the space industry: rocket launching costs and satellite building costs. To tackle these problems, satellite miniaturization is the key,” he said.

“Achieving the same mission purpose but using less weight, volume, power, and power will not only save on launching costs but also enables more room for payloads,” Yen added. It has been difficult to reduce the size of ACS due to physical restraints. Therefore ACS is the heaviest and largest subsystems in space exploration systems. “Tensor Tech has developed groundbreaking spherical motor technology that replaces three motors with just one. Our device’s weight, size, and power consumption are two-thirds that of traditional systems,” Yen explained.

The spherical motor spins in all axes, the Y, X, and Z.It is regulated by a unique and patented magnetic field design. Besides, bias currents allow the motor to integrate magnetorquers which does have a 3-axis into a spherical motor. The motor acts as the attitude actuator alongside a tactical-grade gyroscope, which serve as the attitude determination subsystem. The gyroscope is combined with a fine sun-sensor to achieve this. For good optical sensing and a functional broadband satellite, attitude control is key. An ACS acts as a stabilizer to prevent satellites from wobbling.

Tensor Tech’s ACS uses the three-axis stabilizing technique by controlling the satellite along the X, Y, and Z-axis. This invention will allow private and commercial players in the space sector to operate additional power-intensive activities. This will also enable a wider range of commercial; applications due to the reduced power consumption of the ACS and the ability to carry larger payloads.

“We provide our customers with a full-stack service for the ACS. From the mission design phase to delivering hardware and Integration support, we are not only your key subsystem supplier and consulting team but also your best partner on this space journey,” stated Yen. The advantage of a spherical motor compared to the traditional single-axis reaction wheel motors is providing an angular momentum in three axes, the X, Y, and Z axes. Its rotational movements are better than the traditional systems. You can guide a satellite’s orientation with a spherical motor in a similar way as three traditional single-axis reaction wheels and three magnetorquers. Another upside for this new device is the lighter weight and reduced power consumption.


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