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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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How long is a satellite orbiting at 300 miles going to be visible from horizon to horizon?

Elon Musk has a plan for satellite internet that involves LEO and VLEO satellites. The question I have is how long would a satellite at these altitudes actually be within range before having to ...
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Has a TLE ever been issued for a spacecraft trajectory not bound to Earth orbit?

This excellent answer to the question Why has no TLE been published for the DSCOVR satellite and the Falcon 9 R/B? suggests that to the best of the writer's knowledge TLEs are only issued for ...
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1answer
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Inexplicable Offset in Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) observations

I am struggling with the implementation of a Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) validation tool. The situation is as follows: I am provided with a framework which gives me the position of a SLR ...
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3answers
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How do multiple satellites deployed in the same launch reach their different final orbits?

For example on the Iridium-4 launch from SpaceX on 22-12-2017, 10 satellites are deployed almost at the same time. How do the satellites go into their own separate orbits after they are deployed? When ...
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2answers
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How can a solar storm be predicted?

Satellites like DSCOVR are used to predict solar storms. How does that work? If the satellite is orbiting L1 and "watches" the sun, how can the signal be back on earth before a storm arrives? How ...
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4answers
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What would one need to do to get an amateur satellite into orbit?

I've recently become interested in amateur satellite packet radio, and I've seen that the bandwidth and thus the bitrate is extremely low on most amateur satellites, not even factoring in noise. So I ...
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1answer
174 views

Reason for satellite passes at the same local time each day?

Is there any specific reason especially for the remote sensing satellites passing at the same local time over a particular place each day? I have some experience measuring the radiance received by ...
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1answer
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If a cube or micro satellite could collect 1-2 cm space debris in Earth orbit could they be deorbited while raising the sats orbit?

A lot of space debris on LEO are small 1 to 2 cm pieces. Removing these threats is a concern to anyone using LEO. Can a cube/micro satellite use collected small debris and propel them to both ...
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“Deep space” corrections in SGP4; how does it account for the Sun's and Moon's gravity?

The Simplified Perturbations model SGP4 is used to calculate Earth satellite state vectors (position and velocity) using standard ephemeris data encoded as TLEs (Two Line Elements). According to ...
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0answers
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How to determine an available planetary communication window using orbital mechanics?

For class I have an orbit around Mars at an inclination of 63.4 deg and a base site of 55 deg North and was wondering how to work out the communication window, using orbital mechanics. Orbital ...
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3answers
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Satellite manufacture and cleanliness

This picture caused a lot of laughter and mocking, when it happened. I've since noticed this sign in many pictures of flight hardware. It has been my understanding, that satellites are built in ...
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1answer
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Voyager location [closed]

11/19/2017 Q:Is sun is in the middle of voyager(1&2)? I've recorded this data yesterday. According to Nasa.gov(VoyagerMissionStatus) Distance of Voyager From Earth In Miles 1575359 ...
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1answer
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In what circumstance would it be useful for a satellite’s angular velocity to differ from its reference frame’s angular velocity?

Casually reading “orbital mechanics for engineering students” on rigid body attitude dynamics, i see the following passage: $$M_{net}=\dot{H}_{rel} + \Omega\times H$$ Keep in mind that, whereas $\...
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Satellite altitude variances in orbit

I understand that all satellites must have burn corrections to keep their orbits where they are needed. However my question is specifically about what those changes are in magnitude from the desired ...
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1answer
239 views

Rapid deployment of cubesat network with Gauss cannons

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/...
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1answer
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Navigating in space with only cameras

I'd like to figure out how to determine where something is in space (solar system) based only solely on measurements that can be preformed on location visually/with a camera. Let's say I'm floating in ...
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1answer
188 views

TLE and RINEX gps differences

I have TLE and RINEX navigation file for GPS satellite PRN 20, for 01.04.17r. 19:56:56 and 20:00:00 respectively. See also The Receiver Independent Exchange Format Version 3.03. It seems that the ...
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3answers
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Would we be able to detect an extraterrestrial “Voyager” if it came near us?

Attached to the Voyager probes are the golden records, which are essentially messages-in-a-bottle sent out into the vast sea of interstellar space, containing of course the "message of humanity". ...
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2answers
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Does the name “corona discharge” bear any relation to the Corona surveillance satellites or is this a coincidence?

Corona discharges were observed on the Corona satellites which carried film cameras, negatively affecting the image quality. Was it a coincidence that the name of this phenomenon is the same as the ...
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2answers
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What is the highest non-equatorial earth orbit used?

When looking at the operational altitude of satellites, it seems that the highest one is GEO (36000km), which is an equatorial orbit. Non-equatorial orbits are less high (from LEO to 20000km for GPS). ...
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1answer
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This BBC photo does not show a replica of Vanguard-1, what might it be?

The BBC news article The World's Oldest Scientific Satellite is Still in Orbit talks about the Vanguard program and that Vanguard-1 is still in orbit around the Earth, and near the end shows a photo ...
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3answers
174 views

Would there be any advantage to set satellites closer to the sun?

If there were a Coronal mass ejection would having a satellite closer to the sun give us an ability to detect and warn us or would all communications be knocked out and/or the solar flare would be the ...
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2answers
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Would adding satellites between Earth and Mars improve communications latency?

Would adding satellites along the path from Earth to Mars decrease the amount of time it takes to send and receive messages between them?
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1answer
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Is TDRS-M (TDRS-13) where it's supposed to be?

edit: Status 2018-Jan-01 inclination still about 7 degrees, location still not listed in Wikipedia. This question got me thinking about the location of active TDRS satellites, and the newest ...
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2answers
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How do you compare a simulation with a fitted orbit?

I am very confused with regards the simulation and fitting of satellite orbits. For example, how does one compare the results of a numerically integrated force model with an orbit that has been ...
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1answer
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How to calculate the current position of a satellite?

I want to write a SIMULINK model that calculates the position visible of satellites for the current time. As input for the model I have the coordinates of a location, the current time and the ...
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1answer
323 views

What would be a “big picture” understanding of how the orbits of Earth satellites are monitored?

In preparation for another question, I typed "keeping track of satellites in orbit" into a search engine, and found a website called keeptrack.space which has a ...
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1answer
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Does anyone who works at SpaceX know the paths of classified payloads?

As SpaceX has launched both NROL-76 and OTV-5, does anyone at SpaceX know the trajectory of the vehicle, or is the falcon upper stage under the direct control of the Air Force?
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2answers
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How did this structure fit into the Shuttle and then expand to 28 meters?

In this answer I read about the Inflatable Antenna Experiment that flew with STS-77. According to this article: Packed into the Spartan, the IAE weighed only 132 pounds; on deployment (inflation), ...
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1answer
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Have there been individual satellites that have been deployed and recovered more than twice?

Have there been individual satellites that have been deployed into Earth orbit (or beyond) and recovered safely back to Earth's surface more than twice? Deployed means it's not a launch vehicle ...
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1answer
308 views

Can a satellite scan an entire continent to search for someone?

I've heard that Osama Bin Laden was first found via satellite. I was wondering if it is possible to have a satellite that can scan an entire continent and find a single person or terrorists without ...
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1answer
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Have any space stations experienced a total solar eclipse?

Have any space stations experienced a total solar eclipse [edit: with the moon blocking out the sun, and seen from the vicinity of the Earth *sigh*]? Otherwise, will any manned satellites pass through ...
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2answers
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Can satellites or the ISS be seen from Earth during a Total Solar Eclipse?

If there is a satellite or the ISS passing by over a point during a total solar eclipse in the darkest region, will the satellite be visible by naked eye or a pair of binoculars, since it will be dark ...
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Calibration of Antennae in satellite and in ground station [closed]

How to orient the ground station antenna and that of the satellite just after the launch?
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5answers
3k views

How does a solar eclipse affect satellites?

Satellites are somewhat closer to the Moon than the Earth is (Or rather, can be), and might well have the sun blocked from them. Furthermore, they can move somewhat more than the Earth, and thus have ...
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1answer
111 views

Do you have to build your own satellite in sterile conditions?

If you were to build your own satellite (say, like a CubeSat), is it required to build it in sterile conditions? The satellite would never reach another planet/the Moon so I wouldn't have thought that ...
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2answers
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Two week mark; has Mayak (Маяк) been spotted yet? Reflector deployed? Astronomy “ruined”?

Deborah Byrd's article Have you seen the Mayak satellite? explains Mayak with a bit of humor: A team of young Russians – led by Moscow State Mechanical Engineering University (MAMI) – managed to ...
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2answers
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Flying Laptop? 2017-042G; 42831

The recent July 14, 2017 launch of KANOPUS-V-IK also brought along many other payloads, including some smaller satellites and a bunch of cubesats, and deployed them at different altitudes between ...
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1answer
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Difference between true anomaly and mean anomaly

What is the difference between true anomaly and mean anomaly in orbital mechanics? I want to understand the physical meaning of mean anomaly, for example true anomaly is the angular position of a ...
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1answer
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How can satellites serve a large number of devices on earth?

Say we have a LEO satellite. There are 5000 low power devices on earth (They are in the close vicinity, can be served by same satellite) which needs to be communicated with the satellite. Now my ...
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1answer
427 views

Radio Link Design of a low power, sensors to satellite communication system

I would like to know, what is the most sophisticated or preferred approach when it comes to connecting a "low earth orbit satellite" to a "low power transmitter devices on the ground". I know there ...
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1answer
592 views

How are remove before flight pin mechanisms realized in satellites?

According to the cubesat design specification electrical requirements (3.3.7 in revision 13) a Cubesat shall include an RBF pin: 3.3.7 The CubeSat shall include an RBF pin. 3.3.7.1 The RBF ...
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2answers
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What is the most popular programming language in space?

For the purposes of clarification - will include machine code generated by a programming language on earth. - 'in space' includes anything in orbit and deep space transit. - special mentions of ...
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0answers
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Has anyone seen an actual spectrum of a satellite made by an amateur photographer?

If you use a shallow wedge prism or very low dispersion diffraction grating (e.g. circa 100 lines/mm) front of a camera, you can photograph the spectra of stars with a modern DSLR camera with a fast, ...
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1answer
179 views

Why do all satellites seems to have the same color from earth?

When you look up right after dusk or before dawn, you are very likely to see passing satellites passing overhead, still illuminated by the sun and reflecting daylight towards you. All theses appear ...
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1answer
183 views

Is a space probe communication relay possible?

Is it possible to maintain a connection with space probes that are far away by sending other space probes behind it. For example - [earth] ------1---- 2-------3--------4------5....and so on if ...
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2answers
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What was the first programming language in space?

Sputnik 1 was the first satellite in space. Did it have a programming language on board or was it purely analog? in 1949 Von Neumann released the language Short Code. Fortran was invented in 1957. ...
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1answer
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What determines if a star tracker blends two stars that are close to each other?

If two stars are very close to each other, a star tracker could identify the pair as a single star, with a magnitude and position different from both stars. This obviously impairs the software's ...
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1answer
421 views

How exactly are satellites drifted to slots in different orbital planes?

The Iridium constellation is being replaced by new satellites. There are six planes with 11 satellites + one spare each. Since the Falcon 9 launcher can only carry ten satellites per launch, filling ...
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891 views

How to calculate the complete true anomaly motion in an elliptical orbit?

The true anomaly motion as I understand, is not constant in an elliptical orbit. The rate of change of true anomaly is not constant as in the case of circular orbits, in which case the true anomaly is ...