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The pole-sitter mission concept : an overview of recent developments and possible future applications

Ceriotti, Matteo and McInnes, Colin and Diedrich, Benjamin (2011) The pole-sitter mission concept : an overview of recent developments and possible future applications. In: 62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, 2011-10-03 - 2011-10-07, Cape Town,.

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Abstract

The paper provides a survey of novel mission concepts for continuous, hemispheric polar observation and direct-link polar telecommunications. It is well known that these services cannot be provided by traditional platforms: geostationary satellites do not cover high-latitude regions, while low- and medium-orbit Sun-synchronous spacecraft only cover a narrow swath of the Earth at each passage. Concepts that are proposed in the literature are described, including the pole-sitter concept (in which a spacecraft is stationary above the pole), spacecraft in artificial equilibrium points in the Sun-Earth system and non-Keplerian polar Molniya orbits. Additionally, novel displaced eight-shaped orbits at Lagrangian points are presented. For many of these concepts, a continuous acceleration is required and propulsion systems include solar electric propulsion, solar sail and a hybridisation of the two. Advantages and drawbacks of each mission concept are assessed, and a comparison in terms of high-latitude coverage and distance, spacecraft mass, payload and lifetime is presented. Finally, the paper will describe a number of potential applications enabled by these concepts, focusing on polar Earth observation and telecommunications.

Item type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
ID code: 33358
Keywords: Earth observation, pole-sitter, high-latitude observation, telecommunications, space mission concepts, Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics, Mechanical engineering and machinery, Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Control and Systems Engineering, Computer Networks and Communications
Subjects: Technology > Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Technology > Mechanical engineering and machinery
Department: Faculty of Engineering > Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Technology and Innovation Centre > Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing
Depositing user: Pure Administrator
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2011 10:47
Last modified: 26 Mar 2015 23:18
URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/33358

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