Tribology Letters

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 99–107

Development of a Lubrication System for Momentum Wheels Used in Spacecrafts

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11249-008-9367-5

Cite this article as:
Sathyan, K., Gopinath, K., Hsu, H.Y. et al. Tribol Lett (2008) 32: 99. doi:10.1007/s11249-008-9367-5


The success of any satellite mission largely depends upon the performance of the attitude control systems such as gyroscopes and momentum/reaction wheels. The required life and performance quality of these rotating mechanisms are ensured by the selection of bearings and its lubrication. The design and development of lubrication system to meet the long-term uninterrupted performance is a challenging task before the tribologists. This article describes the developmental study of a lubrication system for long-term requirements of momentum/reaction wheels. The developed system is compact and can be placed inside the bearing unit assembly. It works on centrifugal force and able to supply lubricant continuously at a very low rate of few micrograms per hour for many years. Further, the system can be tuned for any flow rate depending on the requirement.


SpacecraftMomentum wheelsEHD lubricationCentrifugal lubricator

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Sathyan
    • 1
  • K. Gopinath
    • 2
  • H. Y. Hsu
    • 1
  • S. H. Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Manufacturing and Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Indian Institute of Technology MadrasChennaiIndia