28 May 2018 Formation flying metrology system for the ESA-PROBA3 mission: the Shadow Positioning Sensors (SPS)
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Abstract
PROBA3 is the first high precision formation flying (FF) mission under responsibility of the European Space Agency (ESA). It is a technology mission devoted to in-orbit demonstration of the FF techniques, with two satellites kept at an average inter-satellite distance of 144m. The guiding scientific rationale is to realize a diluted coronagraph with the telescope (ASPIICS) on one satellite and the external occulter on the other satellite to observe the inner Solar corona at high spatial and temporal resolution, down to 1.08R⊙. The two spacecraft will be orbiting in a high eccentricity geocentric trajectory with perigee at 600km and the apogee at 60000Km and with an orbital period of 19hrs. The FF acquisition and operations will last about 6 hrs around the apogee and different metrology systems will be used for realizing and controlling the FF. The alignment active most critical sub-system is the Shadow Positioning Sensors (SPS), a series of Si-PM (Silicon Photomultiplier) disposed around the ASPIICS telescope's entrance aperture and measuring the proper positioning of the penumbra generated by the occulter at the center of the coronagraph’s optical reference frame. The FF alignment measurement accuracies required to the SPS are: 500μm for lateral movements and 50mm for longitudinal movements. This paper gives an overview of the opto-mechanical and electronic design and of the software algorithm for the FF intersatellite positioning. The expected performance of the SPS metrology system are reported.
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D. Loreggia, S. Fineschi, A. Bemporad, M. Casti, V. Noce, G. Capobianco, G. Nicolini, L. Zangrilli, F. Landini, C. Baccani, M. Romoli, S. Buckley, C. Thizy, F. Denis, P. Ledent, B. Marquet, D. Galano, M. Belluso, L. Accatino, L. Terenzi, G. Morgante, M. Riva, M. Moschetti, C. Calderoni, S. Pieraccini, "Formation flying metrology system for the ESA-PROBA3 mission: the Shadow Positioning Sensors (SPS)", Proc. SPIE 10695, Optical Instrument Science, Technology, and Applications, 1069503 (28 May 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2314814; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2314814
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