25 May 2012 Utilizing low-cost 3U single-sensor satellites for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance mission capabilities
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Abstract
Leveraging low cost launch carriers for small satellites with the functionality required for DoD and intelligence missions realizes a hidden potential capability. The Multi-Mission Bus Demonstration (MBD) is a Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) program to demonstrate military operational relevance in a 3U CubeSat form factor. The MBD spacecraft caters to mission versatility and responsive launch capabilities with a standardized bus and interchangeable payload interface design. MBD embraced the challenge of building two space vehicles on an extremely aggressive timeline and demanding budget, causing the development team to evaluate every step of the process to maximize efforts with minimal manpower and cost. MBD is providing a classified DoD payload capability that is truly operationally relevant and may revolutionize the mission area. As a single instrument or payload satellite, also called a SensorSat, MBD is a spacecraft of realizable ISR benefits including effective remote sensing, simplified engineering design and program requirements, and reduced time to launch, all yielding an appealing cost per unit. The SensorSat has potential to detect sufficient information that will act as a complementary component to tactical commanders in heightening battlefield awareness. Recent advancements in technology has put capabilities such as precision navigation, communication intelligence, signal intelligence, tactical warning, environmental intelligence, and a wide variety of ground imaging, at the tip of culmination in a small, economical package. This paper reviews the high functionality of the MBD spacecraft in the miniaturized footprint of 10 cm by 10 cm by 30cm which allows the mission to leverage inexpensive launch opportunities.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Philip M. Huang, Andrew A. Knuth, Margaret A. Garrison-Darrin, "Utilizing low-cost 3U single-sensor satellites for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance mission capabilities", Proc. SPIE 8385, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications V, 83850G (25 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919328; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.919328
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