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Proceedings Paper

In-orbit measurements of microaccelerations of ESA's communication satellite Olympus
Author(s): Manfred E. Wittig; L. van Holtz; D. E. L. Tunbridge; Herman C. Vermeulen
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Paper Abstract

On ESA's large communication satellite OLYMPUS a set of three orthogonally arranged microaccelerometers is installed. The aim of this experiment is to characterize and observe the behaviour of the different mechanisms in space and to get measurements of the vibration levels which are of relevance for the design of optical communication payloads. During the commissioning phase of the spacecraft in October 1989 a lot of data recordings were made at ESTEC. The translation of the measured acceleration spectra into a base motion spectra shows a higher amount of vibration in the frequency region above 100 Hz, when compared with previously reported data from Landsat spacecraft. The main disturbing vibration sources, solar array drive and thruster firing, can not be characterized precisely enough before the launch. This confirms that measurements in space are mandatory before flying an optical payload. Therefore ESA plans to install this kind of equipment on several other spacecrafts which will be launched before launch of ESA's optical communication payload SILEX. In this paper the equipment on board OLYMPUS will be described followed by presentation of typical measured data. A specification for the micro-vibration environment with which an optical payload has to cope is then derived.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 1990
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1218, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies II, (1 July 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.18234
Show Author Affiliations
Manfred E. Wittig, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
L. van Holtz, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
D. E. L. Tunbridge, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Herman C. Vermeulen, European Space Agency (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1218:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies II
David L. Begley; Bernard D. Seery, Editor(s)

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