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IAC-15-B4.6B.4 A novel concept for earth remote sensing using a bi-static femto-satellite swarm in sun synchronous orbit

Cao, Jianlin and Clemente, Carmine and McInnes, Colin and Soraghan, John and Uttamchandani, Deepak (2015) IAC-15-B4.6B.4 A novel concept for earth remote sensing using a bi-static femto-satellite swarm in sun synchronous orbit. In: 66th International Astronautical Congress 2015, IAC 2015. International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Paris, pp. 4654-4662. ISBN 9781510818934

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Recent developments in spacecraft design exploiting micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) with sensing, computing, full-duplex communications and micro-powcr generation has introduced the prospect of a new class of low-cost, low-mass Femto-scale (10~100g) spacecraft suitable for use in swarm and distributed missions. Current concepts for functional devices have been designed by exploiting existing technologies to develop femtosatellite prototypes. Distributed femtosatellites arc considered as a solution to reducing the cost of conventional Earth remote sensing and monitoring missions. In this paper, we introduced a new preliminary design of femtosatellites using commercial off-The-shelf (COTS) technology, which can provide an acceptable level of mission capability and environmental survivability. This new design features high area-To-mass ratio that enables the femtosatellites to take advantage of solar radiation pressure (SRP) for orbit control without onboard pro pell ant. Using the unique environment enabled by a dawn-dusk sun synchronous orbit, the femtosatellites would be under direct illumination during the entire orbit without eclipsing. Whats more, it could maximize electrical power generation for the payload and enabling orbit control using SRP. The performance of a femtosatellite swarm for bi-static radar application is analysed with example scenarios.