The Tensor Tech ADCS400 Pyramid Cluster with Reaction Spheres is an Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) suitable for 6U to 16U CubeSats utilizing four variable-speed, single-gimbal control moment gyros (CMG), driven by spherical motor technology for attitude actuation. The ADCS400 is an assembly of four ADCS100 in a pyramid cluster configuration and capable of providing larger output torque to achieve a desired slew rate and an angular momentum storage large enough to prevent saturation.

The benefit of using CMG as an attitude actuator instead of a reaction wheel is its capability to provide high torque-to-power ratio. Unlike reaction wheels, CMGs generates gyroscopic torque while tilting instead of inducing torque through the acceleration/deceleration of the rotor. But, the control of CMG requires more complicated steering algorithms, which is provided by the control system that allows for attitude requirements as input.

The video below is a presentation by Tensor Tech from the 2021 satsearch webinar: "a guide to selecting an ADCS for a small satellite mission". For more information about the webinar, and to see footage of the entire event, please click here

Key features

  • Suitable for 6U to 16U CubeSats in LEO
  • 4 x RSS100 Reaction Spheres
  • High torque-to-power ratio
  • Design lifetime of 3 years
  • 3-axis magnetometer, Fine Sun Sensor
  • Optional GNSS receiver and antenna


The system is provided with an optional GNSS receiver and antenna.

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Last updated: 2022-05-25

ADCS400 - Pyramid Cluster with Reaction Spheres



lead time
12 to 24 mo
< 1200 g
supply voltage
3.3 V
5 V
power consumption
< 4 W
maximum torque
4 mN m (adjustable)
maximum momentum storage
20 mN m s
pointing knowledge
< ±0.1 deg (with sun)
< ±1 deg (no sun)
pointing accuracy
< ±0.2 deg (with sun)
< ±1 deg (no sun)
data interface
operating temperature
-20 to 60 C
3 yr


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