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Proceedings Paper

Pico-satellite capabilities for telecommunication and Earth observation
Author(s): Marco Schmidt; Klaus Schilling
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Paper Abstract

Modern miniaturization technologies allow realization of satellites at very low masses. For the example of the pico-satellite UWE-1 (University Würzburg's Experimental satellite), design details for such spacecrafts with at a mass below 1 kg will be discussed. UWE-1 was launched in 2005 in order to optimize Internet Protocol parameters in adaptation to the measured space environment, specifically at significant delays and at higher noise levels compared to terrestrial links. Such miniaturization often limits the power and data transmission resources, and thus the achievable performance. Therefore concepts for formations of small satellites have been developed, where multiple pico-satellites complement each other in swarms to realize a fault-tolerant, robust system. Here observations take advantage of large baselines between the sensors placed on the different satellites. Thus, due to the different viewing angles, even three-dimensional structures can be indentified. The limited implementation costs for pico-satellites encourage strategies to store such pico-satellites for situations, when reconnaissance data are required quickly, as in case of disasters, like earthquakes, floodings, and forest fires.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2008
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6960, Space Exploration Technologies, 696005 (15 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.777747
Show Author Affiliations
Marco Schmidt, Univ. Würzburg (Germany)
Klaus Schilling, Univ. Würzburg (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6960:
Space Exploration Technologies
Wolfgang Fink, Editor(s)

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