It is important to test the attitude control systems on satellites before they are launched in space. Traditionally this has been done by dropping the satellite, and firing the thrusters before the satellite makes a soft landing in a net. This method only allows a few seconds of testing and does not lend itself to the measurement of pointing accuracy. A better method is to mount the satellite on a spherical air bearing.

In this paper behavior of a semi spherical air bearing is studied and analyzed in various conditions. These bearings are used in different applications such as simulation of approximately frictionless condition which is the satellite’s situation in space. In this analysis FLUENT 6.3.26 is used to simulate the air bearing’s behavior. Simulation process is divided into 5 sections. These sections are accordingly 2dimensional with static boundary condition, 3dimensional and static, 2dimensional and dynamic and 3dimensional and dynamic boundary conditions. At last bearing’s function was optimized by changing some adjustable parameters which are important in controlling the bearings behavior such as air entering nozzles diameter and their number and location. Importance of this study is to simulate the behavior of the bearing in dynamic boundary condition using dynamic mesh. Eventually results of the simulation are compared to the actual test results and bearing behavior is analyzed. Finally best arrangement for achieving maximum normal load is studied.

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