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Designing solar storm microsatellite for predicting space weather

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1 Author(s)
Paige, S.L. ; Aerosp. Corp., Los Angeles, CA, USA

Solar flares can cause serious damage to satellites and disruptions to power grids. To provide warning of impending solar storms to satellite operators, power companies and other users, a Sun- and Earth-viewing microsatellite located in orbit about the L1 libration point was designed by the Aerospace Corporation's Concept Design Center (CDC). The CDC's collaborative design methodology provided comprehensive investigation of the trade space to support the accelerated procurement timeline. Not all solar storms inflict damage. The polarity of the solar flare, available only minutes before the storm approaches the Earth, determines the potential for damage. The integrated dual payload concept of hemispherical imager and magnetometer provides up to three days warning of an impending solar storm with 30-60 minutes warning of confirmation that the solar storm has the potential to inflict damage to both ground- and space-based systems. Eight satellite configurations were developed to study the impact of varying key trade space parameters: spacecraft lifetime; data compression; direct injection into the L1 transfer orbit versus transferring from Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO); varying the number of hemispherical imagers; effects of technology freeze date and redundancy; and smallsat technology and components

Published in:

Aerospace Conference Proceedings, 2000 IEEE  (Volume:7 )

Date of Conference:

2000