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The Orbiting Geophysical Observatories

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2 Author(s)
Scull, W.E. ; National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. ; Ludwig, G.H.

The Orbiting Geophysical Observatories are systems designed to fulfill a primary objective of conducting large numbers of significant, diversified experiments for making scientific and technological measurements within the earth's atmosphere, the magnetosphere, and cislunar space to obtain a better understanding of earth-sun relationships and the earth as a planet. Configured to meet scientific requirements, the observatories include six booms of different lengths for experiments requiring locations at a distance from the main body. Five degrees of freedom allow the capability of continuously orienting solar and antisolar, geocentric and antigeocentric, and orbital experiments within relatively close limits. Weighing 1000 pounds, of which 150 pounds are exclusively experiments, the observatories have potential of growth to 1500 pounds and carrying more experiments. Designed to include five basic subsystems of structure, stabilization and control, power supply, communications and data handling, and thermal control, the observatories have well-defined interfaces for experiments. This basic design fulfills a secondary objective of having available for launching at regular intervals a standard-type spacecraft consisting of a basic design that can be used repeatedly to carry large numbers of easily integrated experiments in a wide variety of orbits.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 11 )