With the increasing of human space activities, the number of space debris has increased dramatically, and the possibility that spacecrafts on orbit are impacted by space debris is growing. A method is of the vital significance to real-time detect and assess spacecraft damage, determine of gas leak accurately, guarantee the life safety of the astronaut effectively. In this paper, acoustic sensor array is used to detect the acoustic signal which emits from the damage of the spacecraft on orbit. Then, we apply the time difference of arrival and beam forming algorithm to locate the damage and leakage. Finally, the extent of the spacecraft damage is evaluated according to the nonlinear ultrasonic method. The result shows that this method can detect the debris impact and the structural damage, locate the damage position, and identify the damage degree effectively. This method can meet the needs of structural damage detection for the spacecraft in-orbit.
Based on the acoustics cascade sound theory, the mechanism of air leak sound producing, transmitting and signal detecting has been analyzed. A formula of the sound power, leak size and air pressure in the spacecraft has been built, and the relationship between leak sound pressure and receiving direction and distance has been studied. The center frequency in millimeter diameter leak is more than 20 kHz. The situation of air leaking from spacecraft to space has been simulated and an experiment of different leak size and testing distance and direction has been done. The sound pressure is in direct proportion to the cosine of the angle of leak to sensor. The portable ultrasonic leak detector has been developed, whose minimal leak rate is 10-1 Pa·m3/s, the testing radius is longer than 20 mm, the mass is less than 1.0 kg, and the electric power is less than 2.2 W.
Space technologies have changed the way we live in the present day society and manage many aspects of our daily affairs through Remote sensing, Navigation & Communications. Further, defense and military usage of spacecraft has increased tremendously along with civilian purposes. The number of satellites deployed in space in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), and the Geostationary Orbit (GEO) has gone up. The dependency on remote sensing and operational capabilities are most invariably to be exploited more and more in future. Every country is acquiring spacecraft in one way or other for their daily needs, and spacecraft numbers are likely to increase significantly and create spacecraft traffic problems. The aim of this research paper is to propose innovative design concepts for adaptive spacecraft. The main idea here is to improve existing design methods of spacecraft design and development to further improve upon design considerations for futuristic adaptive spacecraft with inbuilt features for automatic adaptability and self-protection. In other words, the innovative design considerations proposed here are to have future spacecraft with self-organizing capabilities for orbital control and protection from anti-satellite weapons (ASAT). Here, an attempt is made to propose design and develop futuristic spacecraft for 2030 and beyond due to tremendous advancements in VVLSI, miniaturization, and nano antenna array technologies, including nano technologies are expected.
A universal software platform is developed for improving the defects in the practical one. This software platform has distinct advantages in modularization, information management, and the interfaces. Several technologies such as computer technology, virtualization technology, network technology, etc. are combined together in this software platform, and four working modes are introduced in this article including single mode, distributed mode, cloud mode, and the centralized mode. The application area of the software platform is extended through the switch between these working modes. The software platform can arrange the thermal vacuum test process automatically. This function can improve the reliability of thermal vacuum test.
Flexible satellites are equipped with various appendages which vibrate under the influence of any excitation and make the attitude of the satellite to be unstable. Therefore, the system must be able to adjust to balance the effect of these appendages in order to point accurately and satisfactorily which is one of the most important problems in satellite design. Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) Controller is simple to design and computationally efficient to implement which is used to stabilize the effect of these flexible appendages. However, manual turning of the PID is time consuming, waste energy and money. Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) is used to tune the parameters of PID Controller. Simulation results obtained show that PSO tuned PID Controller is able to re-orient the spacecraft attitude as well as dampen the effect of mechanical resonance and yields better performance when compared with manually tuned PID Controller.
Geoengineering approaches to climate change mitigation are unpopular and regarded with suspicion. Of these, space-based approaches are regarded as unworkable and enormously costly. Here, a space-based approach is presented that is modest in cost, fully controllable and reversible, and acts as a natural spur to the development of solar power satellites over the longer term as a clean source of energy. The low-cost approach exploits self-replication technology which it is proposed may be enabled by 3D printing technology. Self-replication of 3D printing platforms will enable mass production of simple spacecraft units. Key elements being developed are 3D-printable electric motors and 3D-printable vacuum tube-based electronics. The power of such technologies will open up enormous possibilities at low cost including space-based geoengineering.
In this paper, the problem of fault detection and isolation in the attitude control subsystem of spacecraft formation flying is considered. In order to design the fault detection method, an extended Kalman filter is utilized which is a nonlinear stochastic state estimation method. Three fault detection architectures, namely, centralized, decentralized, and semi-decentralized are designed based on the extended Kalman filters. Moreover, the residual generation and threshold selection techniques are proposed for these architectures.
As the human race will continue to explore the space by creating new space transportation means and sending them to other planets, the enhance of atmospheric reentry study is crucial. In this context, an analysis of mass recession rate of ablative materials for thermal shields of reentry spacecrafts is important to be carried out. The paper describes a new estimation method for calculating the mass recession of an ablator system made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic materials. This method is based on Arrhenius equation for low temperatures and, for high temperatures, on a theory applied for the recession phenomenon of carbon fiber reinforced plastic materials, theory which takes into account the presence of the resin inside the materials. The space mission of USERS spacecraft is considered as a case study.
This article contains a description of main ideas for the attitude reorientation of spacecraft (small dual-spin spacecraft, nanosatellites) using properties of its chaotic attitude motion under the action of internal perturbations. The considering method based on intentional initiations of chaotic modes of the attitude motion with big amplitudes of the nutation oscillations, and also on the redistributions of the angular momentum between coaxial bodies of the dual-spin spacecraft (DSSC), which perform in the purpose of system’s phase space changing.
In this paper, the development of the ephemeris generation module used for the Thaichote satellite operations is presented. It is a vital part of the flight dynamics system, which comprises, the orbit determination, orbit propagation, event prediction and station-keeping maneouvre modules. In the generation of the spacecraft ephemeris data, the estimated orbital state vector from the orbit determination module is used as an initial condition. The equations of motion are then integrated forward in time to predict the satellite states. The higher geopotential harmonics, as well as other disturbing forces, are taken into account to resemble the environment in low-earth orbit. Using a highly accurate numerical integrator based on the Burlish-Stoer algorithm the ephemeris data can be generated for long-term predictions, by using a relatively small computation burden and short calculation time. Some events occurring during the prediction course that are related to the mission operations, such as the satellite’s rise/set viewed from the ground station, Earth and Moon eclipses, the drift in groundtrack as well as the drift in the local solar time of the orbital plane are all detected and reported. When combined with other modules to form a flight dynamics system, this application is aimed to be applied for the Thaichote satellite and successive Thailand’s Earth-observation missions.
Numerical studies have been carried out using a validated two-dimensional RNG k-epsilon turbulence model for the design optimization of a thrust vector control system using shock induced supersonic secondary jet. Parametric analytical studies have been carried out with various secondary jets at different divergent locations, jet interaction angles, jet pressures. The results from the parametric studies of the case on hand reveal that the primary nozzle with a small divergence angle, downstream injections with a distance of 2.5 times the primary nozzle throat diameter from the primary nozzle throat location warrant higher efficiency over a certain range of jet pressures and jet angles. We observed that the supersonic secondary jet opposing the core flow with jets interaction angle of 40o to the axis far downstream of the nozzle throat facilitates better thrust vectoring than the secondary jet with same direction as that of core flow with various interaction angles. We concluded that fixing of the supersonic secondary jet nozzle pointing towards the throat direction with suitable angle at a distance 2 to 4 times of the primary nozzle throat diameter, as the case may be, from the primary nozzle throat location could facilitate better thrust vectoring for the supersonic aerospace vehicles.
Attitude Determination (AD) of a spacecraft using the phase measurements of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is an active area of research. Various attitude determination algorithms have been developed in yester years for spacecrafts using different sensors but the last two decades have witnessed a phenomenal increase in research related with GPS receivers as a stand-alone sensor for determining the attitude of satellite using the phase measurements of the signals from GNSS. The GNSS-based Attitude determination algorithms have been experimented in many real missions. The problem of AD algorithms using GNSS phase measurements has two important parts; the ambiguity resolution and the determining of attitude. Ambiguity resolution is the widely addressed topic in literature for implementing the AD algorithm using GNSS phase measurements for achieving the accuracy of millimeter level. This paper broadly overviews the different techniques for resolving the integer ambiguities encountered in AD using GNSS phase measurements.
Small satellites have become increasingly popular recently as a means of providing educational institutes with the chance to design, construct, and test their spacecraft from beginning to the possible launch due to the low launching cost. This approach is remarkably cost saving because of the weight and size reduction of such satellites. Weight reduction could be realised by utilising electromagnetic coils solely, instead of different types of actuators. This paper describes the restrictions of using only “Electromagnetic" actuation for 3D stabilisation and how to make the magnetorquer based attitude control feasible using Fuzzy Logic Control (FLC). The design is developed to stabilize the spacecraft against gravity gradient disturbances with a three-axis stabilizing capability.
Materials used on exterior spacecraft surfaces are subjected to many environmental threats which can cause degradation, atomic oxygen is one of the most threats. We prepared organic silicon atomic-oxygen-protection film using method of polymerization. This paper presented the effects on the film structure and its durability of the preparation processing, and analyzed the polymerization theory, the film structure and composition of the film. At last, we tested the film in our ground based atomic oxygen simulator, and indicated that the film worked well.
The charge-exchange xenon (CEX) ion generated by ion thruster can backflow to the surface of spacecraft and threaten to the safety of spacecraft operation. In order to evaluate the effects of the induced plasma environment in backflow regions on the spacecraft, we designed a spherical single Langmuir probe of 5.8cm in diameter for measuring low-density plasma parameters in backflow region of ion thruster. In practice, the tests are performed in a two-dimensional array (40cm×60cm) composed of 20 sites. The experiment results illustrate that the electron temperature ranges from 3.71eV to 3.96eV, with the mean value of 3.82eV and the standard deviation of 0.064eV. The electron density ranges from 8.30×1012/m3 to 1.66×1013/m3, with the mean value of 1.30×1013/m3 and the standard deviation of 2.15×1012/m3. All data is analyzed according to the “ideal" plasma conditions of Maxwellian distributions.
Plasma plume will be produced and arrive at spacecraft when the electric thruster operates on orbit. It-s important to characterize the thruster plasma parameters because the plume has significant effects or hazards on spacecraft sub-systems and parts. Through the ground test data of the desired parameters, the major characteristics of the thruster plume will be achieved. Also it is very important for optimizing design of Ion thruster. Retarding Potential Analyzer (RPA) is an effective instrument for plasma ion energy per unit charge distribution measurement. Special RPA should be designed according to certain plume plasma parameters range and feature. In this paper, major principles usable for good RPA design are discussed carefully. Conform to these principles, a four-grid planar electrostatic energy analyzer RPA was designed to avoid false data, and details were discussed including construction, materials, aperture diameter and so on. At the same time, it was designed more suitable for credible and long-duration measurements in the laboratory. In the end, RPA measurement results in the laboratory were given and discussed.
This research contribution propels the idea of collaborating environment for the execution of student satellite projects in the backdrop of project management principles. The recent past has witnessed a technological shift in the aerospace industry from the big satellite projects to the small spacecrafts especially for the earth observation and communication purposes. This vibrant shift has vitalized the academia and industry to share their resources and to create a win-win paradigm of mutual success and technological development along with the human resource development in the field of aerospace. Small student satellites are the latest jargon of academia and more than 100 CUBESAT projects have been executed successfully all over the globe and many new student satellite projects are in the development phase. The small satellite project management requires the application of specific knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to achieve the defined mission requirements. The Authors have presented the detailed outline for the project management of student satellites and presented the role of industry to collaborate with the academia to get the optimized results in academic environment.
Designing and implementing intelligent systems has become a crucial factor for the innovation and development of better products of space technologies. A neural network is a parallel system, capable of resolving paradigms that linear computing cannot. Field programmable gate array (FPGA) is a digital device that owns reprogrammable properties and robust flexibility. For the neural network based instrument prototype in real time application, conventional specific VLSI neural chip design suffers the limitation in time and cost. With low precision artificial neural network design, FPGAs have higher speed and smaller size for real time application than the VLSI and DSP chips. So, many researchers have made great efforts on the realization of neural network (NN) using FPGA technique. In this paper, an introduction of ANN and FPGA technique are briefly shown. Also, Hardware Description Language (VHDL) code has been proposed to implement ANNs as well as to present simulation results with floating point arithmetic. Synthesis results for ANN controller are developed using Precision RTL. Proposed VHDL implementation creates a flexible, fast method and high degree of parallelism for implementing ANN. The implementation of multi-layer NN using lookup table LUT reduces the resource utilization for implementation and time for execution.
THEOS is the first earth observation spacecraft of Thailand which was launched on the 1st October 2008 and is currently operated by GISTDA. The transfer phase has been performed by Astrium Flight Dynamics team leading to a hand over to GISTDA teams starting mid-October 2008. The THEOS spacecraft-s orbit is LEO and has the same repetitivity (14+5/26) as the SPOT spacecraft, i.e. the same altitude of 822 km but it has a different mean local solar time (LST). Ground track maintenance manoeuvres are performed to maintain the ground track within a predefined control band around the reference ground track and the band is ±40 km for THEOS spacecraft. This paper presents the first ground track maintenance manoeuvre of THEOS spacecraft and the detailed results. In addition, it also includes one and a half year of operation as seen by GISTDA operators. It finally describes the foreseenable activities for the next orbit control manoeuvre (OCM) preparation.