Mission Design Considerations for the Tundra Constellation


The geostationary orbit belt has become highly populated with communication satellites, making frequency allocations more challenging to obtain. An innovative solution to this problem may be provided by the recently proposed Tundra orbit constellation. The Tundra constellation uses three or more spacecraft in inclined geosynchronous orbits. The needed terrestrial coverage is obtained by proper orientation of each orbit relative to the constellation and by proper phasing of each satellite within its orbit. The nominal orbit design for the constellation should minimize any negative perturbation effects in order to provide affordable stationkeeping costs. This study describes an initial examination of the Tundra constellation given basic constraints. Mission design elements are first considered followed by a discussion of stationkeeping issues. Perturbation effects from thirdbody and geopotential sources are quantified and used to select nominal orbits that will provide the needed coverage and that can be maintained within reasonable fuel budgets. © 2002 by the author(s).

Meeting Name

AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference and Exhibit (2002: Aug. 5-8, Monterey, CA)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2002 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

08 Aug 2002