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Design and operation of TOPEX/POSEIDON Autonomous Maneuver Experiment (TAME)

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4 Author(s)
Vaze, P. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Kia, T. ; Klumpp, A. ; Mellstrom, J.

Spacecraft autonomy is becoming an important aspect of the design and operation of future space missions. While science objectives continually increase, budgets for development and operations remain fairly flat. Implementing spacecraft autonomy may help in achieving these goals, while reducing operations costs. Autonomy algorithms have been developed and tested using ground simulations, however the key test lies in the flight performance of these techniques. In order to test these algorithms, the TOPEX/POSEIDON Autonomous Maneuver Experiment (TAME) has been designed, implemented and executed in flight. TAME is an experiment the provide the necessary algorithms for planning and executing attitude maneuvers and a thrusting Orbital Maintenance Maneuver (OMM) autonomously. This experiment not only provides the challenge of developing the autonomy algorithm but also implementing them on an operational satellite that is not designed to accommodate autonomous attitude or propulsive maneuvers. This paper describes the general experiment design with special emphasis on the implementation difficulties and considerations required for implementation on a flight operational satellite. Although the task of implementing autonomy on an existing flight program provides a challenge, it is achievable. This may provide an attractive solution to limit operations costs and increase the operations flexibility to achieve additional science objectives for not only future missions but also for existing flight programs

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 1999. Proceedings. 1999 IEEE  (Volume:5 )

Date of Conference:

1999