Flight Nutation Validation of the COS-B and EQUATOR-S Spacecraft

The validation of spacecraft flight nutation damping performance can only be obtained when flight data become available. Dedicated space nutation tests, e.g. in a decommissioning phase, are required to enable a systematic evaluation of model, ground test and space performance results. Space nutation flight data, however, are sparsely available. This article deals with the verification and validation of the COS-B and EQUATOR-S nutation flight data on basis of ground test and three types of models. It will be shown that the Navier-Stokes model solution used in the development of the Ulysses and FY-2 nutation dampers is the backbone of liquid damper design of the type “tube-with-endpots”.