Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 4

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Taiwan Startup Uses Spherical Motor to Build Satellite Control
System
Volume 20, Issue 2
Editor & Publisher
David Webster
Contributing Editor
Dr. Stan Trout
Director of Operations and
Support Services
Ross Webster
Director of Sales and Content
Scott Webster
Design & Layout
Scott Webster
Administration
Marsha Grillo

Designing a spherical motor that actually works has vexed the ambitions of
many scientists and engineers, but a Taiwan startup has developed a tiny satellite altitude control system using spherical motor technology that it believes
can help more commercial players enter the space industry. Tensor Tech of
Taipei showcased its novel system at CES 2020, held virtually in January.
A spherical motor can spin and provide angular momentum in X, Y, and Z
axes. The rotor is supported with a gimbal mechanism and bearings, and a 3D
rotating magnetic field is the driving force instead of a 2D rotating magnetic
field that powers conventional motors. Controlled by a patented, magnetic field
design, the Tensor Tech motor can replace three separate motors in a cubesat.
Moreover, bias-currents are applied to each phase of the motor, enabling it to
combine 3-axis magnetorquers into the device as well. A magnetorquer is a
satellite system for attitude control, detumbling, and stabilization built from
electromagnetic coils. The magnetorquer creates a magnetic dipole that interfaces with Earth's magnetic field.
" There are two obstacles for commercial players to enter the
space industry: rocket launching costs and satellite building costs, " says Thomas Yen, co-founder and CEO. " To tackle
these problems, satellite miniaturization is the key. Yet the
attitude control system (ACS) tends to be the heaviest and
largest of all the related subsystems.
" For decades, the size of the ACS could not be reduced
significantly due to physical limitations. Tensor Tech has
developed groundbreaking spherical motor technology that
replaces three motors with just one. Our device's weight,
size, and power consumption are two-thirds that of traditional
systems, " he explains.

Thomas Yen,
Tensor Tech
CEO

Every satellite in orbit requires precise orientation control along the X, Y, and Z
axes. This so-called attitude control is essential for optical-sensing and broadband communication satellites. To achieve this, Tensor Tech uses a tactical-

4

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Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021

Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021
Editor’s Choice/ Features
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e-Traction of Netherlands Rolls Ahead with New EV Powertrain Designs
Electric Motors from ECA Group Power Nuclear Attack Subs for French Navy
Advanced e-Propulsion & EV Development Blossoms in UK with Fresh Government Funding
Research & Development
Product News
Industry News
Events Calendar/ Advertising Index
Visions
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - Cover2
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 3
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - Editor’s Choice/ Features
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 5
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - Top-Tier Automotive Suppliers Transform to Become Fully Integrated e-Powertrain Manufacturers, Part 1 of 2 Wi
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 7
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 8
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 9
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - e-Traction of Netherlands Rolls Ahead with New EV Powertrain Designs
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 11
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - Electric Motors from ECA Group Power Nuclear Attack Subs for French Navy
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 13
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - Advanced e-Propulsion & EV Development Blossoms in UK with Fresh Government Funding
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 15
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - Research & Development
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 17
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 18
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 19
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - Product News
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 21
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 22
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 23
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - Industry News
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 25
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 26
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - 27
Magnetics Business & Technology - March/April 2021 - Events Calendar/ Advertising Index
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