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SATELLITES What They Do and How They Work PowerPoint Presentation
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SATELLITES What They Do and How They Work

SATELLITES What They Do and How They Work

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SATELLITES What They Do and How They Work

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  1. SATELLITESWhat They Do andHow They Work Michael J. Mackowski Aerospace Engineer October 2013 With Updates from Shawn Shepherd

  2. What Satellites Do • Types of Satellite Missions: • Weather • Communications • Navigation • Scientific • Planetary • Military 2

  3. Weather Satellites GOES 10 3

  4. Science Satellites Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST or Fermi) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 4

  5. Science Satellites Hubble Space Telescope Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Hubble Space Telescope Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST or Fermi) 5

  6. Military Satellites Hexagon Photo Reconnaissance Satellite Defense Support Program 6

  7. Interplanetary Satellites Voyager Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity 7

  8. Communications Satellites Superbird 6 Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Hughes/Boeing 376 8

  9. How Satellites Work • All satellites have: • 1. Bus Structure - This is the platform where all the equipment is mounted. • 2. Subsystems - This equipment is required to keep the satellite running. Electrical power Temperature control Commands and Telemetry (data) Attitude Control for pointing Communication Propulsion for moving 9

  10. How Satellites Work • All satellites have: • 3. Payloads - Theses are different for each satellite, depending on its mission. • Sensors: Video camera Thermal camera Radar Scientific sensors Telescopes • Other: Telecommunication equipment Navigation equipment Laser equipment 10

  11. The Basic Idea is… • Satellites collect data and send it back to Earth • Collecting data about weather, scientific topics, land use, military interest, etc. • Relaying data for communications and navigation 11

  12. Parts of a Satellite • All of the different types of spacecraft have certain elements in common. • They are implemented in different ways depending on the mission requirements. • These elements are: • Structure • Payload (seen on previous charts) • Subsystems (seen on following charts) Electrical power Temperature control Command and data handling Attitude control (pointing) and knowledge Communication Propulsion 12

  13. Structure • A frame, usually aluminum or composite, is used to mount everything • Has to be built to withstand the forces of launch 13

  14. Electrical Power • Most satellites convert solar energy to electricity via solar panels similar to the ones on houses. • Fixed panels • Oriented panels (follow the sun) • Cylindrical (for spinning satellites) • Batteries are needed when the sun is eclipsed. Nickel hydrogen battery Solar array 14

  15. Electrical Power • The more power (equipment) you need the bigger the solar arrays have to be. • They also get larger the further you travel from the Sun. • Nuclear options include: • RTG: radioisotope thermal generators • Nuclear reactor (very high power) 15

  16. Thermal Control • It is cold in space but the electronic equipment on the satellite generates heat. • The temperature must be balanced or the equipment will fail. • The object is to keep everything at a nice constant temperature. • Insulation blankets • Heaters • Radiators (flat shiny areas to reflect or dump heat) Heaters Swift satellite with various types of surfaces 16

  17. Propulsion • Once in orbit, you need it for: • Changing orbits • Leaving Earth orbit • Maneuvers at other planets • Re-entry • Pointing and steering • Types of rocket fuel: • Liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen • Solid chemicals • Hydrazine (single propellant) Prop tank 17

  18. Pointing • Most satellites are “3-axis stabilized” satellites • Gyroscopic Reaction Wheels are used for fast movement • Electromagnetic Torque Rods ‘grab’ the Earth’s magnetic field for tighter control • Sensors are needed to determine which way the satellite is pointed. • Star trackers look at the stars • Sun sensors look at the sun Reaction wheel Torque rod 18

  19. Command and Data • On-board computer is used for: • Data collection • Command distribution • Control of payloads and equipment • Memory for programmed sequences • Emergency procedures • Data recorder • Stores data for later playback Electronics Module 19

  20. Communications • Receiver antennas and transmitters are used to ‘talk’ to the satellite with radio waves from the mission control center • Receives commands and transmits data to Earth S-band antenna Cassini high gain antenna X-band antenna 20

  21. Putting It Together • Every kind of spacecraft has some combination of these features. • How they are organized, and which ones are more critical, largely determines what the spacecraft looks like. 21


  23. Design Process First you understand the mission: destination, duration, type and quantity of payloads MISSION POINTING POWER SOURCE PAYLOAD LOCATION SUBSYSTEM LOCATION 23

  24. Design Process MISSION The payloads will determine which way the spacecraft points and how accurately you must maintain that pointing. POINTING POWER SOURCE PAYLOAD LOCATION SUBSYSTEM LOCATION 24

  25. Design Process MISSION POINTING That will set where the payloads (instruments) are located relative to the other equipment POWER SOURCE PAYLOAD LOCATION SUBSYSTEM LOCATION 25

  26. Design Process MISSION The next biggest driver is the power source, typically solar arrays. They are large and must not block the view of the instruments. POINTING POWER SOURCE PAYLOAD LOCATION SUBSYSTEM LOCATION 26

  27. Design Process MISSION POINTING POWER SOURCE PAYLOAD LOCATION All of the remaining subsystems are located on the bus structure. This rarely drives the overall layout of the satellite. SUBSYSTEM LOCATION 27

  28. Satellite Features • The end result will vary depending on the type of satellite (mission) 28

  29. Put It All Together • Build it, test it, launch it. 29

  30. Put It All Together • Collect data and transmit it back to Earth Fermi Gamma Ray Observatory 30