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Dual Satellite Operations in Close Formation Flight

Maurer, Edith and Zimmermann, Steffen and Mrowka, Falk and Hofmann, Harald (2012) Dual Satellite Operations in Close Formation Flight. 12th International Conference on Space Operations (SpaceOps 2012), 11-15. Juni 2012, Stockhom, Schweden.

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TerraSAR-X (TSX) and TanDEM-X (TDX) are two satellites flying in low-earth orbit. Both satellites are equipped with a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) payload for Earth observation. TSX has been launched in 2007 and TDX in 2010. Both satellites are operated by the German Space Operations Center (GSOC). Since October 2010 the two spacecraft are orbiting the Earth in a close formation flight with inter-satellite distances in the order of a few hundred meters. In this configuration the two satellites fulfill the goals of two different missions: The “TerraSAR-X” mission uses the radar instrument on either TSX or TDX satellite in stand-alone mode. The “TanDEM-X” mission uses the radar instrument on both satellites simultaneously in so-called “bi-static” mode. The former application delivers two dimensional images, the latter allows a three dimensional model of the Earth’s surface to be made. During the TanDEM-X mission a digital elevation model covering the Earth’s complete land mass is generated. This paper describes several aspects of the combined missions from the control center’s point of view. The workflow of dual satellite operations includes safety measures required to minimize the risks in close formation. In particular, protection against potential collision of the two spacecraft and protection against illumination of the partner satellite during radar beam transmission must be guaranteed. Furthermore, the concept of the mission planning system which distributes the payload requests of two different missions to two satellites will be presented.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/76725/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Title:Dual Satellite Operations in Close Formation Flight
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Maurer, EdithEdith.Maurer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Zimmermann, SteffenSteffen.Zimmermann (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Mrowka, FalkFalk.Mrowka (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Hofmann, HaraldHarald.Hofmann (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:June 2012
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Formation Flight Satellite Operations
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 TanDEM-X
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training > GSOC-German Space Operations Center
Deposited By: Geisau, Juliane
Deposited On:10 Aug 2012 11:31
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:37

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