The choice of the attitude stabilization type has considerable impact on the overall shape and appearance of the spacecraft, and the ACS design is highly interrelated with the design of other subsystems on board the spacecraft. The ACS helps other subsystems in their operation, and conversely the ACS requires their services to allow its own operation.
In terms of hardware, the ACS is composed of sensors, control torquers, and computer processors, but one thing we have not discussed is the complexity of the mathematical control algorithms that are programmed into the onboard computer to make it all work. As a result, the subsystem engineer who works in this area needs to be not only good at the hardware design and its integration, but also a mathematician.
In the next chapter, we discuss the other subsystems and their design.
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