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Balancing, Turning, Saving; Special AOCS Operations to extend the GRACE Mission

Herman, Jacobus and Steinhoff, Michael (212) Balancing, Turning, Saving; Special AOCS Operations to extend the GRACE Mission. 12th International Conference on Space Operations (SpaceOps 2012), 11-15. Juni 2012, Stockhom, Schweden.

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The two GRACE satellites were successfully launched on March 17, 2002 by a Russian Rockot launcher. The main objective of the mission is the measurement of the Earth’s gravity field and its time dependencies. It was the first dual-satellite mission operated by GSOC and also the first formation-flying occurring at an altitude below 500 km. The mission is extremely successful from a scientific point of view and the originally envisaged duration of 5 years has more than doubled by now. A follow-on mission is planned by the same partners for 2016 and JPL projects a new generation in the twenties, so there is a strong incentive to prolong GRACE and try to bridge the gap. A number of special AOCS operations and analyses have evolved over the years in order to extend the mission as long as possible. This encompasses such obvious measures as the minimisation of fuel usage and thruster cycles, but also the continuous optimisation of parameter settings and the balancing of several consumables. Close interaction between the science- and operation- teams is required throughout, because the satellites themselves are part of the experiment.

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Title:Balancing, Turning, Saving; Special AOCS Operations to extend the GRACE Mission
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Herman, JacobusJaap.Herman@dlr.de
Steinhoff, MichaelMichael.Steinhoff@dlr.de
Date:June 212
Keywords:GRACE Mission Extension
Event Title:12th International Conference on Space Operations (SpaceOps 2012)
Event Location:Stockhom, Schweden
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:11-15. Juni 2012
Organizer:DLR / SSC
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt GRACE (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training
Deposited By: Juliane Geisau
Deposited On:16 Jul 2012 10:47
Last Modified:16 Jul 2012 10:47

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