We have had the old adcs tag since October 2016 and I think I created it. The acronym is for Attitude Determination and Control System.
Random links legitimizing the acronym
- Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS)
- ADCS: Attitude Determination And Control System
- System Specifications for Attitude Determination and Control System
However from faa.gov's 4.3.1 Space Vehicle Control Systems:
We’ll begin our discussion of the space vehicle’s attitude and orbit control subsystem (AOCS) by focusing on the attitude part of the problem. Attitude defines a vehicle’s orientation in space. For example, if we want a spacecraft to take pictures of a particular spot on Earth, we need to align the payload so it points at the spot. In this case, we’d need to control the spacecraft’s attitude so it points “down,” toward Earth. In space terms, we say, “down toward Earth” is the nadir direction. The opposite direction, away from Earth toward space, is the zenith direction.
Similarly, launch vehicles need to control their attitude to steer into the correct orbit and keep forces aligned along the long axis where they are strongest. However, in this section, we’ll focus mainly on the unique problems for spacecraft. Because this function is so important, it is sometimes given a separate name—attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS). In this section, we’ll refer to it by that name. Regardless of the name given to the subsystem, its job is the same—keep its spacecraft pointed in the right direction
Now I wonder if the term ADCS might be overly specific and insufficiently recognizable for a good tag, and should be retired and either: