Momentum Wheels are used in a momentum biased control systems. Similar devices are used in zero momentum bias control systems and are called Reaction Wheels, they differ in use by centering their operational RPM range around zero and therefore do not provide significant gyroscopic stiffness in the spin axis.

Momentum Wheels function by spinning a wheel of a given mass at a targeted RPM to maintain gyroscopic stiffness in a given axis, and can induce movement in a secondary axis by varying the RPM. By orientating the location of the unit to provide stiffness in the Roll axis, variations in RPM will provide control over the Pitch axis. As a satellite progresses through its orbit, Yaw error will translate into Pitch error, therefore actively controlling Pitch errors effectively manages errors in Yaw, thereby achieving influences over all three axis through the course of the orbit.

With the orientation of the Roll axis held in a relatively fixed position by the momentum of the wheel any variations in the inclination of the orbit will appear as Roll errors. Periodic attitude adjustments are made to the momentum wheel spin axis to minimize Roll errors and momentum adjustments are made to maintain the wheel speed within the optimal RPM range.

Normal maneuvers are preformed to maintain the North/South (inclination) and East/West (eccentricity) drift of the satellite.