Spirepedia

Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS)

ADCS is an inclusive system of sensors (magnetometer, sun sensors), actuators (torque rods, reaction wheels), and all the operational control that happens in between.

A spacecraft’s ADCS determines the orientation (attitude) of the spacecraft in orbit and will use actuators to maneuver it into the desired position. These systems have become important solutions for hardware-constrained small satellites that need the control to point antennas at ground stations and position solar arrays toward the sun.

Learn more

  1. US Federal Aviation Administration | Space Vehicle Control Systems 4.3.1 [PDF]. Accessed 20 October 2018.
  2. Starin Scott R & Eterno John; Attitude Determination and Control Systems; NASA Technical Reporters Server; 2011 [PDF]. Accessed 20 October 2018