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Proceedings Paper

Design of the microsatellites used in the atmospheric neutral density experiment
Author(s): Phillip Cabrales Kalmanson; Andrew C. Nicholas; Stefan E. Thonnard; Ivan Galysh; Robert Bruninga
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Paper Abstract

The Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment (ANDE) is a series of four microsatellites that will study the atmosphere of the Earth from low earth orbit. Each microsatellite is based on a common design; however, each differs in the instrument payloads and the associated science and mission requirements. The primary mission objective is to provide total neutral density along the orbit for improved orbit determination of resident space objects. Each ANDE microsatellite has several secondary goals. It is the unique design of the microsatellites that allows this task to be accomplished. Each microsatellite is a compact, near perfect sphere; this reduces shape and drag errors so that the local density of the atmosphere can be determined by instantaneous tracking variations detected by very high accuracy laser and radar ranging whereby the spacecrafts themselves are the primary sensing instrument. The accuracy of the atmospheric density measurements inferred from the orbital tracking of ANDE microsatellites will be much greater than that achieved by similar experiments in the past or from any currently proposed. Many unique design challenges had to be overcome to achieve the necessary science, mission, and operational requirements as well as severe cost constraints. New methods for parts and assembly fabrication were sought out and implemented. These new methods allowed similar parts to function in each of the microsatellites despite the differences between them. In addition, the command and telemetry links used inexpensive COTS Ham radio transceivers while meeting all the International requirements for operations in the Amateur Satellite Service.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 January 2005
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 5659, Enabling Sensor and Platform Technologies for Spaceborne Remote Sensing, (11 January 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.578327
Show Author Affiliations
Phillip Cabrales Kalmanson, Praxis Inc. (United States)
Andrew C. Nicholas, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Stefan E. Thonnard, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Ivan Galysh, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Robert Bruninga, U.S. Naval Academy (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5659:
Enabling Sensor and Platform Technologies for Spaceborne Remote Sensing
George J. Komar; Jinxue Wang; Toshiyoshi Kimura, Editor(s)

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