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Proceedings Paper

Comparison between structurally connected propellant formation flying and electromagnetic formation flying spacecraft configurations for Gen-X mission
Author(s): Umair Ahsun; Lennon Rodgers; David W. Miller
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Paper Abstract

Gen-X is a next generation concept x-ray telescope that would be approximately 1000-times more sensitive than current x-ray telescopes such as Chandra. Since Gen-X will require focal lengths greater than 50 meters, formation flying the detector module behind the primary mirror is a feasible option. This study investigates the viability of a novel approach referred to as Electromagnetic Formation Flight (EMFF). EMFF uses High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) coils to generate force and torque between the primary and detector modules. EMFF subsystems such as coils, thermal control and power are sized as a function of different system parameters such as slew rate, focal length and detector mass. To investigate the viability of EMFF, a comparison is made between three different techniques for keeping the detector at the focal length distance behind the primary mirror assembly. The first architecture uses a deployable truss to create a Structurally Connected X-ray telescope (SCX), the second uses propellant-based formation flying (PFF) and the third uses Electromagnetic Formation Flying (EMFF).

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 August 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5899, UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes: Innovative Technologies and Concepts II, 58990M (31 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.615915
Show Author Affiliations
Umair Ahsun, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Lennon Rodgers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
David W. Miller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5899:
UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes: Innovative Technologies and Concepts II
Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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