Lunar Orbit Design of a Satellite Swarm for Radio Astronomy

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Employing a satellite swarm for radio astronomy has been continuously addressed in the Orbiting Low Frequency ARray (OLFAR) project. A 100 km diameter of aperture array constructed by distributed satellites will be able to provide sky maps of better than 1 arc-minute spatial resolution at 10 MHz. However, an orbit design strategy for the swarm satellites that ensures safe intersatellite distances and relative orbit stability has not yet been developed. In this paper, a new method for OLFAR orbit design is proposed. A deterministic solution is presented based on three algebraic constraints derived here, which represent three orbit design requirements: collision avoidance, maximum baseline rate, and uvw-space coverage. In addition, an idea for observation planning over the mission lifetime is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-2734-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-2735-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference, AERO 2020 - Big Sky, United States
Duration: 7 Mar 202014 Mar 2020


Conference2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference, AERO 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBig Sky


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