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Downward-deployed tethered satellite systems, measurement techniques, and instrumentation - A reviewThis paper describes a number of scheduled and proposed Shuttle-based downward-deployed tethered satellite systems (TSSs) the purpose of which is to determine the structure of the lower thermosphere and to measure the atmospheric and aerodynamic effects in the vicinity of the satellite, the aerothermodynamic effects on the satellite's surface, and the dynamics of the tether and its endmass, the satellite. The instruments for the downward-deployed tethered missions will include mass spectrometers and other density sensors, plasma instrumentation, optical spectrophotometers, magnetometers, and instrumentation to measure the effects on satellite surface (such as the surface temperature, heat transfer, and pressure; gas adsorption on surfaces, chemistry with other gas molecules and surface material, and desorption from the surface; and surface charging).
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Brown, Kenneth G.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Melfi, Leonard T., Jr.
(Old Dominion Univ. Norfolk, VA, United States)
Upchurch, Billy T.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Wood, George M., Jr.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 15, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Volume: 29
Issue: 5
ISSN: 0022-4650
Subject Category
Spacecraft Instrumentation
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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