ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository

The EUCLID AOCS Science Mode Design
Bacchetta, A.; Saponara, M.; Torasso, A.; Saavedra Criado, G.; Girouart, B.
Presented at:
Porto 2014
Full paper:

Euclid is a Medium Class mission of the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 plan. Thales Alenia Space Italy has been selected as prime contractor for the Euclid design and implementation. The spacecraft will be launched in 2020 on a Soyuz launch vehicle from Kourou, to a large amplitude orbit around the sun-earth libration point L2. The objective of Euclid is to understand the origin of the Universe's accelerating expansion, by mapping large-scale structure over a cosmic time covering the last 10 billion years. The mission requires the ability to survey a large fraction of the extra-galactic sky over its lifetime, with very high system stability (telescope, focal plane, spacecraft pointing) to minimize systematic effects. The AOCS is a key element to meet the scientific requirements. The AOCS design drivers are pointing performance and image quality (Relative Pointing Error over 700s less than 25mas, 68 % confidence level), and minimization of slew time between observation fields to meet the goal of completing the Wide Extragalactic Survey in 6 years. The first driver demands a Fine Guidance Sensor in the telescope focal plane for accurate attitude measurement and actuators with low noise and fine command resolution. The second driver requires high torque actuators and an extended attitude control bandwidth. In the design, reaction wheels (RWL) and cold-gas micro-propulsion (MPS) are used in a synergetic and complementary way during different operational phases of the science mode. The RWL are used for performing the field slews, whereas during scientific observation they are stopped in order not to perturb the pointing by additional mechanical noise. The MPS is used for maintaining the reference attitude with high pointing accuracy during the scientific observation. This innovative solution achieves the pointing performance with the shortest maneuver times, with significant mass savings with respect to the MPS-only solution.