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Flight Dynamics Operations of the TanDEM-X Formation

Kahle, Ralph and Schlepp, Benjamin and Aida, Saika and Kirschner, Michael and Wermuth, Martin (2012) Flight Dynamics Operations of the TanDEM-X Formation. SpaceOps 2012, 11.-15. Jun. 2012, Stockholm, Schweden.

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Since end of 2010 the German TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites are routinely operated as the first configurable single-pass Synthetic Aperture Radar interferometer in space. The two 1340 kg satellites fly in a 514 km sun-synchronous orbit. In order to collect sufficient measurements for the generation of a global digital elevation model and to demonstrate new interferometric SAR techniques and applications, more than three years of formation flying are foreseen with flexible baselines ranging from 150 m to few kilometers. As a prerequisite for the close formation flight an extensive flight dynamics system was established at DLR/GSOC, which comprises of GPS-based absolute and relative navigation and impulsive orbit and formation control. Daily formation maintenance maneuvers are performed by TanDEM-X to counterbalance natural and artificial disturbances. The paper elaborates on the routine flight dynamics operations and its interactions with mission planning and ground-station network. The navigation and formation control concepts and the achieved control accuracy are briefly outlined. Furthermore, the paper addresses non-routine operations experienced during formation acquisition, frequent formation reconfiguration, formation maintenance problems and space debris collision avoidance, which is even more challenging than for single-satellite operations. In particular two close approaches of debris are presented, which were experienced in March 2011 and April 2012. Finally, a formation break-up procedure is discussed which could be executed in case of severe onboard failures.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/80909/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech, Paper)
Title:Flight Dynamics Operations of the TanDEM-X Formation
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Kahle, Ralphralph.kahle (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Schlepp, Benjaminbenjamin.schlepp (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Aida, Saikasaika.aida (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Kirschner, Michaelmichael.kirschner (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Wermuth, Martinmartin.wermuth (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:10 June 2012
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X, formation flying, flight dynamics operations, debris collision avoidance
Event Title:SpaceOps 2012
Event Location:Stockholm, Schweden
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:11.-15. Jun. 2012
Organizer:SSC und DLR
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt TanDEM-X (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training > Space Flight Technology
Deposited By: Kahle, Dr.-Ing. Ralph
Deposited On:24 Jan 2013 17:33
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:39

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