Design and Test of a Tethered Pair of Satellites: Equipment Requirements


A recent development in spacecraft mission design involves the increasing use of Distributed Spacecraft Systems (DSS). Several key technologies must mature sufficiently to facilitate these missions, including the use of spacecraft flying in tightly controlled formations. Such formations may be controlled using ''free flying'' navigation schemes, or alternatively may use tethers to constrain the formation geometry. An investigation has been initiated here to further develop this technology using two small spacecraft connected by a short tether. After insertion into orbit, the tether will be extended and various data collected on the performance of the dual-spacecraft ''formation.'' At some later time, the tether will be cut, and the spacecraft pair will be navigated in a manner to maintain a geometry as closely as possible to that of the tethered configuration. Comparisons and evaluations of the two modes of operation can then be made so that the merits of both approaches are available to mission designers.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Burners; Gas Turbines; Numerical Analysis; Mathematical Models; Premixed Flames; Turbulence; Turbulence Models; Turbulent Mixing; Circulation; Combustion Physics; Combustion Products; Combustion Chambers; Flame Propagation; High Temperature Gases; Jet Flow; Reacting Flow; Flames; Hydrogen; Laser Induced Fluorescence; Nitrogen; Raman Spectra; Turbulent Flames; Turbulent Jets

Document Type

Technical Report

Document Version


File Type





© 2003 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2003

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