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10 September 2009 Planetary science experiments flying as hosted payloads on commercial satellites
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There has been a recent surge in interest in hosted and rideshare payloads that would launch aboard commercial communications satellites. Much of this interest originates with the satellite customers themselves as a way to sell excess mass and power margins that exist at launch. In 2008, NASA selected GOLD (Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk) as a mission of opportunity to fly as its first hosted payload experiment on a geosynchronous commercial communications satellite, a STAR-2 bus satellite built by Orbital Sciences. CHIRP (Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload), a hosted payload to test infrared sensors for the Air Force, is also being developed for a STAR-2 bus communications satellite. The mass limitation on a STAR-2 bus hosted payload is roughly 50 - 60 kg and the volume is roughly constrained to a 25" x 30" x 28" box on the nadir deck. Telescope apertures are therefore limited is size to about 50 cm in diameter. The diffraction limit for visible (much less IR) imaging missions barely improves upon ground-based image performance, but UV missions can achieve better than 0.1" resolution. There is at least one family of optical designs that (a) provide the necessary focal length and (b) are light and compact enough to fit within the STAR-2 bus mass and volume constraints. These designs also afford opportunities to maintain 0.05" pointing accuracy through a combination of a fine steering mirror and an orthogonal transfer CCD.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Eliot F. Young, Cathy B. Olkin, Phillip M. Kalmanson, Russell Mellon, and Malcolm Young "Planetary science experiments flying as hosted payloads on commercial satellites", Proc. SPIE 7441, Instruments and Methods for Astrobiology and Planetary Missions XII, 74410X (10 September 2009);


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