Lets say I want to create a satellite constellation similar to earth's GPS network around the moon or mars with around 24 4U-6U cubesats as shown in this image:
I was wondering is it possible/practical to launch these small cubesats into their appropriate orbital inclination from an equatorial orbit using some sort of magnetic coil gun or "Gauss cannon".
So as a step by step this would look like this:
- Larger ship is in a circular, equatorial orbit of a planet (or moon) and is carrying a bunch of small cubesats and two large magnetic accelerators
- The ship points one cannon towards the normal vector and the other at the anti-normal vector
- Simultaneously two cubesats are shot out of the cannons (perhaps inside a sabot) and the two shots cancel out the inertia
- The larger ship waits the appropriate time and preforms this maneuver again and again until all satellites are launched and positioned
I see several advantages to this system such as:
- Cubesats can be cheap and don't need a propulsion system
- A network with many satellites can be set up very quickly
- The cannon vehicle can be reused
- Is such a system feasible and practical compared to current methods?
- Could the cannons reach enough speed to set the orbits properly?
- What would be the accuracy on such a system?
- Would the satellites encounter extreme heat/magnetic buildup during launch or damage to electronics when fired due to the strong magnetic field? Would encasing them in some sort of sabot prevent this?