Orbit evolution, maintenance and disposal of SpaceChip swarms

C. Colombo, Charlotte Lucking, C.R. McInnes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

161 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The combined effect of solar radiation pressure and atmospheric drag is investigated for future mission conceptsfor swarms of satellites-on-a-chip (SpaceChips). The natural evolution of the swarm is exploited to perform spatially distributed measurements of the upper layers of the atmosphere. The energy gain from asymmetric solar radiation pressure can be used to balance the energy dissipation from atmospheric drag. An algorithm for long-term orbit control is then designed, based on changing the reflectivity coefficient of the SpaceChips. The subsequent modulation of the solar radiation pressure allows stabilisation of the swarm in the orbital element phase space. It is shown that the normally short orbit lifetime for such devices can be extended through the interaction of solar radiation pressure and atmospheric drag and indeed selected and the end-of-life re-entry of the swarm can be ensured, by exploiting atmospheric drag.
Original languageEnglish
PagesIWSCFF-2010
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010
Event6th International Workshop on Satellite Constellation andFormation Flying, IWSCFF 2010 - Taipei, Taiwan
Duration: 1 Jan 20103 Jan 2010

Conference

Conference6th International Workshop on Satellite Constellation andFormation Flying, IWSCFF 2010
CityTaipei, Taiwan
Period1/01/103/01/10

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • SpaceChip
  • solar radiation pressure
  • equilibrium orbits
  • swarm
  • phase space

Cite this

Colombo, C., Lucking, C., & McInnes, C. R. (2010). Orbit evolution, maintenance and disposal of SpaceChip swarms. IWSCFF-2010. Paper presented at 6th International Workshop on Satellite Constellation andFormation Flying, IWSCFF 2010, Taipei, Taiwan, .