Copyright © 2009 Roberta Veloso Garcia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
An analytical approach for spin-stabilized satellites attitude propagation is presented, considering the influence of the residual magnetic torque and eddy currents torque. It is assumed two approaches to examine the influence of external torques acting during the motion of the satellite, with the Earth's magnetic field described by the quadripole model. In the first approach is included only the residual magnetic torque in the motion equations, with the satellites in circular or elliptical orbit. In the second approach only the eddy currents torque is analyzed, with the satellite in circular orbit. The inclusion of these torques on the dynamic equations of spin stabilized satellites yields the conditions to derive an analytical solution. The solutions show that residual torque does not affect the spin velocity magnitude, contributing only for the precession and the drift of the spacecraft's spin axis and the eddy currents torque causes an exponential decay of the angular velocity magnitude. Numerical simulations performed with data of the Brazilian Satellites (SCD1 and SCD2) show the period that analytical solution can be used to the attitude propagation, within the dispersion range of the attitude determination system performance of Satellite Control Center of Brazil National Research Institute.