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The TerraSAR-X / TanDEM-X Formation Acquisition - From Planning to Realization

Kahle, Ralph and Schlepp, Benjamin and Meissner, Florian and Kirschner, Michael and Kiehling, Reinhard (2014) The TerraSAR-X / TanDEM-X Formation Acquisition - From Planning to Realization. Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, 59 (3). American Astronautical Society. ISSN 0021-9142.

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On June 21, 2010 the TanDEM-X satellite (TDX) was injected into orbit at 15,700 km distance from its twin satellite TerraSAR-X (TSX), which has been in orbit since 2007. Already one month later TDX acquired a formation with TSX in order to build up the first single-pass radar interferometer in space. Within three years of close formation flying with flexible baselines ranging from 150 m to a few kilometers the twin satellites will collect interferometric radar measurements for the generation of a global digital elevation model with unprecedented accuracy. This paper elaborates on the TDX pre-launch analysis performed in the fields of collision assessment during orbit injection and target formation acquisition. To avoid a critical close approach shortly after TDX separation, the risk of collision between the already flying TSX satellite and the newly injected elements (DNEPR upper-stage, gas dynamic shield, and TDX satellite) had to be carefully analyzed. Further, the paper discusses a fuel-saving formation acquisition strategy, for which the maneuver budget is analyzed as a function of launch day and launch injection accuracy. Finally, flight results are presented to illustrate the successful formation acquisition realized in July 2010 and the formation reconfiguration process from the 20 km wide formation into the 300-400 m close formation performed in October 2010. This reconfiguration marked the start of the bi-static TDX / TSX instrument operation.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/86992/
Document Type:Article
Title:The TerraSAR-X / TanDEM-X Formation Acquisition - From Planning to Realization
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Kahle, Ralphralph.kahle (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Schlepp, Benjaminbenjamin.schlepp (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Meissner, Florianflorian.meissner (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Kirschner, Michaelmichael.kirschner (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Kiehling, Reinhardreinhard.kiehling (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of the Astronautical Sciences
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Publisher:American Astronautical Society
Keywords:TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X, Formation Flying, Flight Dynamics
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:19 Dec 2013 09:36
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:20

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