Questions tagged [artificial-satellite]

Questions about objects in orbit which are human made, such as communications and GPS satellites, orbital observatories and space stations, and other man-made object in permanent or semi-permanent orbits around the Earth, other celestial objects, aside from the Sun, or even other satellites. Not to be confused with non-orbited man-made objects in space, that are usually referred to as "probes", or simply "spacecraft".

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2
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0answers
96 views

Orbiting clock visible with the naked eye

Does anyone remember from the 1980s or possibly early '90s in the UK news a (serious) story about contructing a huge orbiting clock so that people would be able to look up at the sky to read the time ...
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2answers
115 views
+100

Are there any designs of geostationary satellites available online?

Are there any designs of perhaps old geostationary satellites available online? After searching around I was mostly able to find either crude diagrams or designs for little cubesats, but nothing for ...
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Why did GRACE mission have launch window?

GRACE mission which was launched on March 17th, 2002 had a 10 minutes launch window. The mission was to launch a couple of earth observation satellites. And interestingly, NASA's GRACE Launch Press ...
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22 views

How will the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) satellites achieve their final orbital spacing?

The informative page shows that the RCM satellites are intended to orbit as follows: Sun-synchronous circular orbit (dawn-dusk mission), nominal altitude = 592.7 km, inclination = 97.74º, period ...
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5answers
3k views

How could a satellite follow earth around the sun while staying outside of earth's orbit?

I'm wondering if its possible for a satellite to follow earth around the sun while staying outside of its orbit. I wondering for the sake of space based solar infrastructure or just something ...
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1answer
48 views

PIR application as a sun sensor

Is there any history or merit to using a PIR (Pyroelectric ("Passive") InfraRed Sensor) as a sun sensor for determining the attitude or position of a Satellite?
13
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1answer
910 views

How many satellites can stay in a Lagrange point?

Lagrange points as I understand it are points in space between 2 objects where the gravitational pull between them is effectively equal. That makes station keeping at these points relatively easy. ...
5
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1answer
724 views

How precise must a satellite's orbit be?

I was thinking about the question on solid upper-stages and my feeling that a liquid upper-stage would allow a more precise orbit. But... how precise does an orbit actually have to be? I guess I mean ...
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0answers
39 views

Using Differential Equations to model path of satelite around earth

I am new to GMAT and am hoping to use it to model the path of a Low Earth Orbit satellite around Earth. I am thinking of plotting the path on a plane and using polar coordinates to model the path ...
3
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1answer
122 views

Could two satellites in the same orbit, but phased differently, be tethered in a sustainable manner?

Was reading this, and I immediately saw the problem with the angular momenta not lining up. Unfortunately, my mind likes to keep turning scenarios over and asking what would happen if ...
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1answer
131 views

Coupling satellites already in orbit reduce drag and debris?

How would 2 or more satellites be joined to reduce atmospheric drag? Could a 3rd satellite tow and join 2 or more satellites that are in similar orbits to prevent Kessler syndrome? At the very least ...
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1answer
183 views

Could a fairing vacuum protect the payload from acoustic loads?

This is a weirder question, but here it goes: During launch, a payload (let's say a satellite) undergoes intense shaking and acoustic loads. This is known from the launcher parameters and the ...
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70 views

How do you find the temperature of an orbiting aluminum sheet 10x10 cm

I'm trying to find the temperature of a CubeSat in orbit at 140km. I'm trying to use the Stefan-Boltzmann law but don't know how to incorporate the energy from sunlight. I'm using this as a check for ...
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1answer
133 views

What influence did Arthur C. Clarke have on early satellite development?

Partially inspired by this uhoh question on SciFi.SE In writing up my answer, I came across this interview Clarke gave to NPR in 2008 where this quote is made While Clarke came up with the idea of ...
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34 views

Are geostationary orbits impacted by changes to earths magnetic field?

Would geostationary satellites be pushed to different orbits by changes in the magnetic filed or even more so by shifting poles or even a reversal?
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0answers
49 views

Operator access to a cube satellite or any educational satellite

I would like to have free or low-cost access to an existing CubeSat (educational satellite) for educational purposes. I wish to familiarise myself with the end to end command & control activities, ...
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1answer
40 views

Data Rates and Radios with Satellites [closed]

I am new to using radios and was wondering why do data rates matter when you use a radio to pull info from somewhere else. Also what does it mean when a satellite sends a wide band signal. Thank you ...
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What have been the most common causes of mishaps or failures with various cubesat mechanisms & components?

I am keen to know more about common CubeSat mechanisms & components (antenna / solar array deployments / thruster / momentum wheel / robotic arm problems) that have worked well in the past and ...
2
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1answer
93 views

What are the top most used satellite control system, flight dynamics solution at the moment ? Approx costs?

I am looking for a list of top most used satellite control systems, flight dynamics solutions by space agencies, private companies etc. the moment? How much do they cost approx for use by 1 person? Is ...
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what are various best practices/processes associated with orbit change manoeuvres of LEO / GEO satellites?

Suppose a satellite was supposed to burn X% fuel reduce Y% mass to gain delta V and change to different orbit in time t. But something is faulty with its propulsion system so it's burning more fuel to ...
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1answer
171 views

Could this satellite wobble in orbit creating additional orbital angular momentum?

This question asks if this type of steam engine would work: Could a steam Engine outperform other electric producing devices in space? this not a sterling engine since it has far less moving parts. ...
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1answer
142 views

Propagating satellites without TLE in python

I know how to propagate satellites in python using ephem module (that uses TLE data). However, I am not sure how I would do the same for my own set of orbital ...
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3answers
96 views

Alternative tests for A-SAT missiles

Keeping the strategic consequences of blowing up an actual satellite as technology demonstration aside, I want to assess it from a purely scientific/technological standpoint. To demonstrate the ...
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1answer
48 views

What Methods are Used for Satellite to Site Visibility Calculation?

In the paper, Rapid Satellite-to-Site Visibility Determination Based on Self-Adaptive Interpolation Technique it is claimed that "Satellite-to-site visibility periods are typically determined by the ...
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0answers
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Can something float on top of the atmosphere? [duplicate]

So this is more of a thought experiment similar to the idea of a space elevator, but bear with me... Can we put something that "floats" on top of the atmosphere? A few ideas A pressure regulating ...
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1answer
81 views

How is atmospheric temperature measured from a satellite?

How does an Earth observing satellite measure the temperature of the atmosphere? Can they measure temperature at multiple altitudes, or measure the temperature of clouds?
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Code to calculate distance between two satellites using their TLE data? [duplicate]

I am not acquainted with astronomy at all. I am developing an computer application which works on TLE data from space-track.org, and calculates things based on them. I need to find distance between ...
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2answers
284 views

How do satellites remain safe from space debris and meteorites?

Since space is not that clean, always there is a chance to hit by an asteroid / meteor. So how can satellites remain safe orbiting Earth?
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1answer
58 views

Mechanics of Sun-Synchronous Orbit & North Korea's KMS-4

QUICK QUESTION: Is North Korea's KMS-4 in a proper Sun-synchronous orbit? https://www.n2yo.com/?s=41332 2016-009A FOLLOW-UP QUESTION: How do I tell? I want to understand the mechanics. RESEARCH:...
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3answers
212 views

Are sun-synchronous orbits always North to South?

So someone told me that weather satellites orbit from north to south generally because that helps them to obtain a sun-synchronous orbit (his explanation for why this was true was too complicated for ...
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1answer
173 views

Why is Angular Momentum of Satellite Rotating in ECI Frame?

Summary: The angular momentum per unit mass of satellite is rotating in ECI x-y plane and I can't understand why. I'm very new to orbital mechanics. What I'm doing: I'm taking the cross product of ...
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2answers
134 views

What will happen to space machines if Earth is destroyed?

What will happen to rovers, satellites, and probes if Earth is destroyed? What will their behaviour be like? How long will they keep functioning? Do they have any programmed actions to take in case of ...
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2answers
2k views

Why latest Landsat satellites have solar panel on only one side?

It is normal for satellites to have solar panels on both sides of the body. But Landsat satellites, from Landsat 4, seems to have the solar panel on only one side. Are there any specific advantages ...
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1answer
108 views

How does lightsail 2 plan to raise its apogee

Lightsail 2 is supposed to be a demonstration flight for solar sail technology. They plan to demonstrate that they can raise the apogee of their satellite using only light pressure on their sail. But ...
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0answers
49 views

What main engine used in a series of environmental satellites has failed more than once (according to the GAO)?

A GAO report on NASA's ongoing projects can be found here. On page 70 while discussing the Lucy mission, it says the ... main engine was the same model used on a series of environmental ...
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94 views
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1answer
114 views

Could you use magnets to orient in space?

If I had a tiny satellite with a magnet orbiting Earth (or another body with a magnetic field), could I use this magnet to adjust my attitude? I'm thinking it could be used in sort of the same way as ...
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0answers
67 views

What are the space-based optical satellite sensors?

I was looking at a products page for Numerica Corp, and under their product MFAST it said (emphasis mine): Tracks objects in all regimes of space (e.g., LEO, MEO, HEO, GEO) using radar, ground-...
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1answer
204 views

Satellite Telemetry on the Internet

Are there any web sites that show real time telemetry such as temps, bus voltages etc? Looking for one to follow.
2
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1answer
159 views

Is it possible to capture geostationary satellites with DSLR?

DSLR is to be mounted on a tripod and pointed at sky with a zoom lens. Would a sufficiently long duration of exposure reveal these non-moving satellites as bright "stars" amongst the streaks caused ...
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0answers
93 views

What are the effects of orbital reflectors and advertising on scientific observation?

There's a couple of startups and initiatives which are proposing "space billboards" which have been getting a lot of bad press recently. Most of the proposals involve a bunch of cubesats with large ...
4
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1answer
109 views

Distribution of satellites by inclination

What is the distribution of Earth orbiting satellites by inclination? In other words, what inclinations are more or less popular? I work with Earth observation myself, where many satellites are Sun-...
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0answers
99 views

Computing the local orbital frame vector directions and angles of gyroscope direction in the satellite

In the context of the study of a cubesat (little satellite), I am asked to define the local orbital frame and compute the local orbital frame vector directions as a function of time (...
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2answers
302 views

What is a satellite trap?

I keep hearing about satellite traps, which have something to do with receiving and transmitting satellite communications, but I can't seem to find a definition. The securityaffairs.co blogpost Hack ...
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1answer
112 views

Why satellite’s solar panel wattage is often listed in specifications?

What is the purpose of listing the power output (Wattage) from solar panel, without the energy/power specification of batteries or other electrical storage devices? Do satellites often use the power ...
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2answers
111 views

Can satellites launched from space run only on electricity?

I need to know this fast, before February. I am not skilled in astronomy, as I am only in fifth grade. Please answer with a sensible answer, and with a simple "yes" or "no" at the beginning. Thank ...
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4answers
94 views

Info on distances to objects in space

Can a cheap telescope tell you how many miles/km away an object is that you focus on? (Via some digital readout onscreen, or perhaps via some calculating function that you can access in its computer.) ...
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0answers
70 views

Cis-L2 Libration Point Halo Orbit

Queqiao became the first satellite to orbit the Cis-L2 libration point (far side of the moon). Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chang%27e_4 Does anyone have any insight on how to model this orbit ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the most aerodynamic Satellite?

From what I understand at least in the lower orbits you want the least amount of drag possible. My brain is telling me that a long pole or submarine shape satellite orientated to the direction of ...
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5answers
1k views

Could rockets launched from the ground use wings in the stages?

Could a slower or smaller rocket take advantage of lift if all the stages had wings? Could the stages reduce splashdown impact forces by using a spinning seedpod-like design (as shown in the image ...