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Formation deployment & separation simulation of multi-satellite scenarios using SatLauncher

Bridges, CP, Sauter, L and Palmer, P (2011) Formation deployment & separation simulation of multi-satellite scenarios using SatLauncher In: 2011 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2011-03-05 - 2011-03-12, Big Sky, MT.

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Abstract

Satellite constellation deployment for formation flying missions is one of the key areas for consideration when realizing the final constellation with reduced propellant mass requirements on the propulsion system. The use of a single launch vehicle to deploy multiple satellites into a formation is faster and cheaper but there is greater risk of collision. This risk must be managed with the competing desire to establish a relatively tight formation for better inter-satellite communication. The launcher attitude, satellite injection times and velocities are key parameters to safely achieve a given separation distance and distribution. This paper presents a visual simulator to propagate the satellite trajectories from the launcher using an expanded definition of Hill's equations, and extending to polar relative motion. It is assumed that a simple launcher is used which is incapable of reposition once in orbit. Low injection velocities are exploited to inject large numbers satellites into a stable constellation. Utilizing small tight natural motion formations help to reduce perturbations and the propellant mass required for formation maintenance. SatLauncher is a new visualization tool for investigating the relative motion and key parameters between satellites in these new missions and applications for multi-satellite launchers without the need for any further industrial tool. The QB50 mission is taken forward as a representative scenario requiring our latest software tool and new methods are presented towards collision free formation deployment.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:

Copyright 2011 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.

Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering > Surrey Space Centre
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2011 11:52
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:53
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/26831

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