Title: Feasibility assessment of a small Earth observation satellite mission propelled with hydrogen peroxide system on a very low Earth orbit
Authors: Tomasz Noga; Tomasz Zawistowski; Adrian Parzybut; Maciej Kalarus
Addresses: Lukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation, Al. Krakowska 110/114, 02-256 Warsaw, Poland ' Creotech Instruments S.A., Ul. Okulickiego 7/9, 05-500 Piaseczno, Poland ' Lukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation, Al. Krakowska 110/114, 02-256 Warsaw, Poland ' Space Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Ul. Bartycka 18a, 00-716 Warszaw, Poland
Abstract: Earth observation (EO) is a popular mission objective of satellite systems. A typical optical EO satellite occupies a LEO orbit which allows to achieve resolutions required for their applications with optics that fits in a medium-sized bus. One of the alternatives is a small satellite with a propulsion module operating on a very low Earth orbit (VLEO.) While this approach has a number of challenges, it can result in small, low-price satellites capable of achieving resolutions comparable with standard EO satellites on LEO orbit. This paper describes the satellite platform that can potentially be used in the VLEO orbit. Image quality and observation instrument aspects as well as an impact of VLEO orbit on a mission design and its cost are discussed. Justification of a propulsion concept follows, and a parametric model of propulsion module is described. A mission analysis estimating mission durations at VLEO is described and results are discussed.
Keywords: very low Earth orbit; VLEO; Earth observation; propulsion; satellite; hydrogen peroxide; mission concept.
International Journal of Space Science and Engineering, 2023 Vol.6 No.4, pp.293 - 321
Received: 02 Nov 2020
Accepted: 19 Feb 2021
Published online: 22 May 2023 *