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Analysis of Envisat Orbit Maintenance Strategies to Improve/Increase Envisat ASAR Interferometry OpportunitiesThe biggest and most advanced Earth Observation Satellite in-orbit, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and its member states, is Envisat. It was launched on March 1, 2002 by an Ariane V from French Guyana and holds a total of 10 multi-disciplinary Earth observation instruments, among which an Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR). The ASAR user community requested the Flight Dynamics division of the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) to investigate how the orbit control maintenance strategy for Envisat could be changed to optimize ASAR interferometry opportunities overall and in addition support the International Polar Year 2007/2008 initiative. The Polar Regions play a pivotal role in understanding our planet and our impact on it as they are recognized as sensitive barometers of environmental change. One of the main themes of the International Polar Year 2007/2008 is therefore the study of Earth s changing ice and snow, and its impact on our planet and our lives. Naturally, ESA would like to support this very important initiative. This paper presents the investigations that have been conducted to support these requests in the best possible way. It discusses the orbit maintenance strategy that has been in place since its launch, ensuring the actual orbit to be within 1 km of a so-called reference orbit, and presents the new orbit maintenance strategy that is aimed at improving/increasing the opportunities for Envisat ASAR interferometry, while preserving the fuel on board the spacecraft. The hydrazine on-board Envisat happens to be a precious resource as only approximately 300 kg of it was available at launch, like ERS-2. The difference being however that the mass of Envisat is approximately 3.2 times that of ERS-2.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Kuijper, D.
(European Space Agency. European Space Operations Center Darmstadt, Germany)
Matatoros, Garcia
(European Space Agency. European Space Operations Center Darmstadt, Germany)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
September 24, 2007
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the 20th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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