I'm still a graduate student in aerospace enginneering, in Europe. I specialised in control systems, and I'm interested in working in the satellite manufacturing industry. I'm especially curious about satellite's AOCS (attitude and orbit control system), and what I painfully lack at this point are real accounts of engineers working on this field. Of course I understand what this field is about, but I have no idea what an AOCS engineer actually does on a daily basis.

The thing is, up until now my control courses have been very general in their scope. But I know that the way control engineering is carried in practice varies drastically depending on the field : the temperature control of a heating system won't look anything like the roll control of an airliner (different environment, different physics, different mathematical tools, different concerns driving the control decisions..), and although both are technically control engeneering jobs, from an engineer point of view, on a daily basis they look like completely different jobs.

I know the same can be said of every engineering discipline to a certain extent, but I've been led to believe that this variety is nowhere as prevalent as in control engineering.

So my question is : what are some specificities of AOCS design compared to control engineering applied to other fields ? Is there anything I should know about it, like aspects of control that are especially essential in AOCS compared to other fields, or on the contrary aspects that are not as important in AOCS as in other fields ? What are the main things that are on the mind of an AOCS engineer, the main things to take into considerations that are due to the specificities of this field (space environment, etc.) ? What does an AOCS engineer actually does on a daily basis ?



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