NGC worked in partnership with Verhaert Space (now QinetiQ Space) for the development, implementation and validation of the autonomous attitude and orbit GNC software for the PROBA-2 spacecraft.

Image : PROBA-2 Spacecraft (courtesy of ESA)

The PROBA-2 satellite began its space journey on 2 November 2009 to accomplish its dual mission of scientific discovery and technology demonstration. The 130 kg satellite was successfully placed on its sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 700 km. PROBA-2, which is the size of a dishwasher and consumes the energy equivalent to a 60 W bulb, has four scientific experiments on board (two in the field of space weather and two for sun observation) as well as 17 technological innovations that will be validated in orbit.

In addition to re-using and improving the novel features included in the PROBA-1 GNC software and listed above, NGC contributed the following novel features in the PROBA-2 AOCS software:

  • 6 AOCS flight experiments including UKF-based orbit and attitude determination, experimental 3-axis magnetic-only control law and autonomous onboard environmental perturbation torque estimation;
  • autonomous generation of the attitude profile for Sun observation including precise pointing to any user-commanded regions of the Sun and autonomous large-angle rotation about the payload line of sight four times per orbit in order to avoid star tracker blinding.


See PROBA-2 page on ESA website for additional details on the mission.


When you work with us, you’ll find we are very flexible when it comes to finding ways to integrate our technology into your project. We also provide in-depth training and the support of one of the most experienced Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) systems teams in the world.