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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6
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1answer
119 views

How has the brightness of SpaceX's Starlink constellation changed since May?

Shortly after the launch, before full orientation of the solar panels and raising of the orbits, the Starlink satellites were surprisingly bright and easily seen with the naked eye. Back then, I heard ...
6
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1answer
585 views

How to calculate the force required to maintain a 10 km diameter disc in a low 80 km orbit?

What force (in the form of periodic impulses) is required for thrusters (thermochemical, electrical, electromagnetic, ionic. Photonics, Hall) to keep such a disk in orbit (80 km) above a fixed point ...
2
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0answers
44 views

Predicting non-Iridium flares and Why NOSS satellites flare?

I just saw two point-like sources flaring in the sky in perfect sync. It was spectacular and a big surprise to me. The full event lasted at most 4 seconds. My position is in the Usera district in the ...
4
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1answer
75 views

What is the purpose of orbital frame of reference for a satellite orbiting the earth?

Orbital frame of reference: a frame of reference with its origin on the orbit and x-axis pointing towards the velocity vector and z-axis towards the center of mass of the earth. the y-axis completes ...
2
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1answer
63 views

Could any “Well-Tracked Analyst Object” turn out to be a natural object or even something else?

The excellent satellite tracking database www.space-track.org, which is mantained by the United States Space Command, offers to the public accurate and up-to-date orbital elements for thousands of ...
0
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1answer
77 views

What are those tilting/rotating platforms called that hold spacecraft during assembly, testing, and sometimes transport? [duplicate]

The first image from the BBC's Euclid space telescope to study 'dark Universe' makes progress reminded me of the second two, which are taken from What are these air-vent-like structures on this ...
1
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0answers
37 views

Parallax calculation

Given two points of observation on Earth (obs1=[lat1,lon1], obs2=[lat2,lon2]) and the apparent azimuth and altitude of a target from these two locations ...
2
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3answers
111 views

How is the brightness of satellites measured?

We would like to perform measurements of the brightness of Starlink satellites. Is there any approved technique available ? I see the name Mike McCants connected with magnitude values of ...
49
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2answers
4k views

In what state are satellites left in when they are left in a graveyard orbit?

I had this idea for a fictional scenario in which a forgotten satellite, like a communications satellite that was decommissioned because it was replaced by a newer model, was hacked into and then ...
5
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2answers
156 views

Can the electric field of the Earth's be used for satellite maneuvering?

Is it feasible to create a strong dynamic dipole inside a satellite so that it can be rotated on its axes and even possibly pushed in a direction due to the Earth's Normal Electric field. This might ...
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2answers
140 views

How to shoot a raspberry pi mini computer into orbit

I'd like to shoot a raspberry pi into orbit. How difficult is this and is this something that could be achieved by hobby rocket scientists?
2
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1answer
193 views

Why were Europe's first few satellites so stylish? Why the pronounced alternating white and black stripes?

In The Century of Space Science, edited by J.A. Bleeker, Johannes Geiss, M. Huber, viewed in Google books I ran across the following text and images. Both satellites are quite stylish looking and ...
37
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2answers
4k views

Is it possible to observe space debris with Binoculars?

Recently I've started to observe satellites with my 20x80 Binoculars. I'm amazed by the fact I can clearly track satellites and rocket bodies at 2000 km altitude (I've reached 8 mag with some objects) ...
2
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1answer
54 views

Does deploying an artificial planet help us study and collect more detailed data about the solar system and the universe?

If we have a space station that can orbit like a planet, wouldn't it give us an advantage in terms of positioning for astronomical experiments? This may also enhance the network transmission ...
1
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0answers
61 views

Calculation of collision probability based on TLE

I have to calculate the probability of collision at moment $t$ with space debris. I am using JSPOC algorythm described in https://www.space-track.org/documents/...
22
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4answers
6k views

Why does the U.S. military maintain their own weather satellites?

Why does the U.S. military maintain their own weather satellites like the DMSP Block 5D2? What's the difference to "normal" weather satellites? Do they use other sensors or orbits? If they have ...
2
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1answer
70 views

What is the cause of the Terra Satellite color as seen from Earth?

Yesterday I spotted the Terra Satellite (EOS AM-1) with my binoculars. This is the 22nd satellite I've spotted. It all looked like usual but there was something very different: the satellite was ...
2
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1answer
45 views

Spacecrafts: NED frame to Orbit Frame or Body Frame Transformation

I calculate the geomagnetic field using IGRF model in Matlab. However, the output is in the NED coordinate frame and I want to tranform it into the Body frame. I've searched everywhere and I cannot ...
3
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2answers
141 views

When calculating the future orbit of an artificial Earth satellite, is the Moon's gravity significant or insignificant?

Imagine a mathematician is plotting the future orbit of a satellite to be launched and put in orbit around the Earth. When they are making their calculation, is the moon so far away and the ...
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0answers
27 views

Orbital period from TLE data [duplicate]

Is there a way to calculate the orbital period from the Two Line Element (TLE) data?
1
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2answers
81 views

What is the process to verify the orbit of a satellite in a list of artificial earth satellites?

From the answers to What is the name of the 'register' that keeps track of all the satellites? we can see that there are more than three 'registers' of artificial satellites - starting with: The ...
4
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2answers
122 views

What is the name of the 'register' that keeps track of all the satellites?

I imagine there must be a list of all the satellites ever launched and their coordinates. I can't find it on Google. My question is: What is the name of the 'register' that keeps track of all the ...
4
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1answer
130 views

Can a Space Telescope orbit so it was always in the shadow of the Earth?

Imagine you have a space telescope that had temperature sensitive instruments. (Like the Spitzer Space Telescope). In order to maintain a cool temperature - you want it always to orbit in the shadow ...
37
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1answer
3k views

Are there any satellites in geosynchronous but not geostationary orbits?

I know there are a lot of geostationary satellites out there, but I'm wondering - are there any geosynchronous satellites that are not geostationary (ie - have a notable inclination to their orbit)?
11
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2answers
503 views

What was the average temperature of space near the Spitzer Satellite Telescope?

The Spitzer Space Telescope, formerly the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), is an infrared space telescope launched in 2003, to be retired in January 2020. The temperature of space near ...
2
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0answers
115 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 ...
2
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3answers
187 views

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 ...
8
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0answers
70 views

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 ...
0
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0answers
26 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 ...
7
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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 ...
1
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1answer
69 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
983 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
746 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 ...
1
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0answers
43 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
144 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 ...
0
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1answer
146 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 ...
5
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1answer
199 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 ...
4
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1answer
129 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
184 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 ...
3
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3answers
164 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?
1
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2answers
127 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, ...
1
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1answer
42 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 ...
2
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2answers
127 views

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
101 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 ...
1
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1answer
55 views

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 ...
-1
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1answer
189 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. ...
3
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1answer
235 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 ...
4
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3answers
99 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 ...
2
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1answer
58 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 ...
3
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0answers
70 views

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 ...