SPOTLIGHT: Maxwell Power, Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS)

April, 2021

In our April spotlight, we chat with Maxwell Power, the ADCS lead for the LORIS Mission. Max has been busy leading the ADCS and took over the subsystem more than a year ago. Maxwell keeps in touch with all the members of his subsystem including the mechanical and electrical designers to ensure this subsystem’s milestones are reached.

Maxwell Power, ADCS Team Lead, DSS – LORIS Mission

Where are you from and why did you choose to study at Dalhousie?

            I am from Halifax, Nova Scotia and I chose to study at Dalhousie because it offers a great engineering program and is in the Maritimes.

What you’re studying?

            I am studying Mechanical Engineering.

How did you come to study your field/why are you interested in it?

            I entered Mechanical Engineering because I have a passion for designing dynamic systems such as robots and remotely operated vehicles. With both my parents being Mechanical Engineers, I have had a lot of experience seeing what is involved in the field and have grown up having a pretty good idea of what I want to do.

What is your subsystem for LORIS and does it do?

            I am the Team Lead for the Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) group as well as the Reaction Wheel Subcommittee. The ADCS subsystem uses magnetic field sensors, sun sensors, and a gyroscope to determine the pointing direction of the satellite and actuates magnetorquers and reaction wheels to de-spin and orient the satellite in the desired direction.

How did you come to be involved in the lab?

            Back in 2019, I reached out to Arad and from that point on, I have continued to become more involved with the project.

What is the thing you’re most excited about for the LORIS mission?

            I am currently very excited to see the reaction wheels coming together and cannot wait to watch them spin-up for the first time. What excites me the most is knowing that there is going to be a satellite soaring above Earth that we all had a part in making.