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Proceedings Paper

New mission and spacecraft design for the space infrared telescope facility
Author(s): Johnny H. Kwok; Michael G. Osmolovsky
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes a new mission concept for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF). In this new concept, SIRTF is launched with just enough energy to escape Earth's gravity. This trajectory is equivalent to a 1 astronomical unit (AU) solar orbit with a small drift rate of about 0.1 AU per year away from the Earth. The new concept uses an Atlas IIAS class launch vehicle to place an 85 cm diameter telescope with a 3 year minimum cryogenic lifetime into a solar orbit. There are many advantages of the solar orbit over an Earth orbit. The spacecraft design can be simplified. Communications and operations can be geared to a 24 hour day, although a directional antenna is needed because of the increasing distance from Earth. Additional advantages include the elimination os the need for Earth/Moon avoidance requirements and the ability to view large portions of the sky continuously for weeks or even months.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2019, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing, (1 October 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.157819
Show Author Affiliations
Johnny H. Kwok, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Michael G. Osmolovsky, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2019:
Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing
Marija S. Scholl, Editor(s)

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