21 December 1988 Miniature Satellite Technology Capabilities For Space Astronomy
Author Affiliations +
The confluence of microelectronics developments, Space Shuttle and expendable launch vehicle maturation and emergence of miniature satellite technology (MST) is providing a new resource for astronomy research. A small, low cost satellite can provide significant on orbit data collection and transmission capability on a budget and time scale accessible to a diverse community of researchers. but like any other complex research tool careful application of MST is critical to obtaining good results. Small satellite capabilities in electric power, pointing, overall size and weight, orbit adjustment, downlink data rate and other parameters are limited compared with today's large scale systems (though in many cases they are comparable to or exceed large systems of a decade or two ago). However, the convenience and low cost of typical MST ground facilities provide enhanced resource accessibility compared to conventional approaches. Proliferation of ground stations and their operation at the research institution or observation site by research team members are features easily integrated within the MST approach. To introduce the potential of MST, missions are treated which most easily adapt to the small satellite environment. Design to operational requirements and close integration of payload and bus are fundamental to the MST approach. A summary of typical MST design capabilities and tradeoffs illustrates the current state of the art of MST application in astronomy. Construction of the small satellite is moot without attention to launch opportunities and costs. Here too properly conceived implementation of MST is important in securing the earliest, lowest cost, most dependable launch opportunity. the launch vehicle flexibility inherent to small satellites can be maximized by engineering compatibility to the largest number of potential launch vehicles. The capabilities, costs and availability of several launch options are assayed. With the current relative scarcity of launch opportunities MST payloads are increasingly appealing compared with conventional, larger systems which demand a larger share of the available orbit insertion resource.
© (1988) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Rick Fleeter, Rick Fleeter, } "Miniature Satellite Technology Capabilities For Space Astronomy", Proc. SPIE 0982, X-Ray Instrumentation in Astronomy II, (21 December 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.948715; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.948715


Overview of Sumitomo coolers and Dewars for space use
Proceedings of SPIE (May 16 2016)
Proton radiation tolerance of x ray SOI pixel sensors for...
Proceedings of SPIE (January 01 1900)
Potential paths in space astronomy over the next 50 years
Proceedings of SPIE (December 15 2002)
The Pinhole/Occulter Facility
Proceedings of SPIE (November 26 1989)

Back to Top