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Safe Release of a Picosatellite from a Small Satellite Carrier in Low Earth Orbit

Wermuth, Martin and Gaias, Gabriella and D'Amico, Simone (2015) Safe Release of a Picosatellite from a Small Satellite Carrier in Low Earth Orbit. In: Advances in the Astronautical Sciences Series, 152, pp. 2927-2944. Univelt, Inc.. 24th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

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The BIROS satellite, which is scheduled for launch in 2015 into a low Earth orbit, will carry onboard a picosatellite and subsequently release it through a spring mechanism with a fixed velocity. In the frame of the AVANTI experiment, the BIROS satellite will perform proximity maneuvers in a mid-range formation with the picosatellite, based solely on optical navigation through its onboard camera. Therefore it is necessary to keep the relative distance of the two spacecraft within certain limits. This is contradicted by the fact, that the spring mechanism is designed to create a large and safe separation between the two spacecraft. In this paper a maneuver strategy is developed in the framework of relative orbital elements. The goal is to avoid any risk of collision on one side and to mitigate the possibility of formation evaporation on the other side. Main design drivers are several uncertainties—most prominently the performance uncertainty of the release mechanism. The analyzed strategy consists of two maneuvers: the separation itself and a drift reduction maneuver of the BIROS satellite after 1.5 revolutions. Afterwards a third maneuver is to be performed to minimize the residual drift, estimated through an orbit determination with radar tracking. The selected maneuver parameters are validated in a Monte Carlo simulation. It is demonstrated that the risk of formation evaporation is below 0.1% as well as the eventuality of a residual drift towards the carrier. In the latter case formation safety is guaranteed by a passive safety achieved through a proper relative eccentricity/inclination vector separation.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/95023/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Safe Release of a Picosatellite from a Small Satellite Carrier in Low Earth Orbit
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Wermuth, Martinmartin.wermuth (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Gaias, Gabriellagabriella.gaias (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:4 February 2015
Journal or Publication Title:Advances in the Astronautical Sciences Series
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:pp. 2927-2944
Publisher:Univelt, Inc.
Keywords:satellite release, safety, formation flying, relative orbital elements
Event Title:24th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Event Location:Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Event Type:international Conference
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Technik für Raumfahrtsysteme
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Infrastruktur und Unterstützung für Raumflugbetrieb
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training
Deposited By: Gaias, Gabriella
Deposited On:04 Feb 2015 10:26
Last Modified:04 Feb 2015 10:26

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