Picture of Open Access badges

Discover Open Access research at Strathprints

It's International Open Access Week, 24-30 October 2016. This year's theme is "Open in Action" and is all about taking meaningful steps towards opening up research and scholarship. The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Explore recent world leading Open Access research content by University of Strathclyde researchers and see how Strathclyde researchers are committing to putting "Open in Action".


Image: h_pampel, CC-BY

Orbit design for future SpaceChip swarm missions

Colombo, C. and McInnes, C.R. (2010) Orbit design for future SpaceChip swarm missions. In: 61st Aeronautical Congress, IAC 2010, 2010-09-27 - 2010-10-01.

[img] PDF (strathprints027415.pdf)

Download (3MB)


The effect of solar radiation pressure and atmospheric drag on the orbital dynamics of satellites-on-a-chip (SpaceChips) is exploited to design long-lived orbits about the Earth. The orbit energy gain due to asymmetric solar radiation pressure, considering the Earth shadow, is used to balance the energy loss due to atmospheric drag. Future missions for a swarm of SpaceChips are proposed, where a number of small devices are released from a conventional spacecraft to perform spatially distributed measurements of the conditions in the ionosphere and exosphere. It is shown that the orbit lifetime can be extended and indeed selected through solar radiation pressure and the end-of-life re-entry of the swarm can be ensured, by exploiting atmospheric drag.