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A control moment gyroscope (CMG) is a device used in larger spacecraft to produce a torque on the craft that allows for attitude control. CMG's use store large amounts of angular momentum in a flywheel. By manipulating the orientation of the flywheel, they can create a torque on the craft without any external inputs. CMGs rely entirely on the conservation of total system angular momentum. CMG's are complex to create and control, but have the benefit of being able to produce large torques.

Big Picture

We are building a CMG to allow our group to simulate and experiment with different control schemes. We will learn how to apply theoretical models to a real world system, and see how accurate our models are. We will also experience some of the advantages and limitations of using CMGs as a control method.

Design Constraints & Considerations

Build a "table top" system. General capabilities include:

  • 3 Degree of freedom system
  • Sufficient flywheel rotational inertia to fully rotate system
  • Low friction bearings
  • 360 degrees of rotation in all 3 axes

Current Progress

  • Machined parts: 95%
  • CAD model: 90%
  • System model: 20%
  • Control System: 0%



Our goal for this project is to have a completed demonstrator for Imagine RIT.

  • Complete CAD Package 3/11/16
  • Complete Machined Parts 3/11/2016
  • Order required components 4/1/2016
  • Assemble all components 4/21/2016

Points of Contact

Paul Curtin

Robert Masti

Jesse Fronckowiak

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