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Design and qualification of a recessed satellite cornercube retroreflector for ground‑based attitude verification via satellite laser ranging

Bartels, Nils and Allenspacher, Paul and Bauer, Sven and Rödiger, Benjamin and Sproll, Fabian and Riede, Wolfgang (2019) Design and qualification of a recessed satellite cornercube retroreflector for ground‑based attitude verification via satellite laser ranging. CEAS Space Journal. Springer. ISSN 1868-2502

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12567-019-00255-x

Abstract

The design and qualification of a retroreflector specifically designed for a CubeSat (CubeL) is described. The CubeSat will be launched to space in 2019 and demonstrate the latest generation of the optical space infrared downlink system developed by the German Aerospace Center together with the industrial partner Tesat-Spacecom. The retroreflector is optimized to allow for a coarse verification of the satellites attitude control system. By analyzing the returning photon count during satellite laser ranging (SLR) when the satellite is operated in station pointing mode attitude information is obtained. To achieve this goal, the entrance face of the retroreflector is recessed by a circular tube-shaped aperture. Due to this recession, the signal reflected from the retroreflector falls off rapidly when the retroreflector is tilted away from the SLR station. From measurements of the retroreflectors far-field diffraction pattern and calculations, we believe that it should be possible to determine the orientation accuracy of the satellite to within ± 2°. The proposed method is an effective and cheap way for coarse attitude control, e.g., for satellites of mega-constellations with any existing satellite laser ranging ground station.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/128078/
Document Type:Article
Title:Design and qualification of a recessed satellite cornercube retroreflector for ground‑based attitude verification via satellite laser ranging
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Bartels, NilsNils.Bartels (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Allenspacher, PaulPaul.Allenspacher (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Bauer, SvenSven.Bauer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Rödiger, BenjaminBenjamin.Roediger (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Sproll, FabianFabian.Sproll (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Riede, WolfgangWolfgang.Riede (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:21 June 2019
Journal or Publication Title:CEAS Space Journal
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:No
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1868-2502
Status:Published
Keywords:Retroreflector · Attitude control · CubeSat · OSIRIS · Laser communication
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Communication and Navigation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R KN - Kommunikation und Navigation
DLR - Research theme (Project):PROSIRIS 3G
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Technical Physics
Institute of Communication and Navigation
Deposited By: Rödiger, Benjamin
Deposited On:25 Jun 2019 11:18
Last Modified:11 Sep 2019 07:31

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