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Managing Cassini Safe Mode Attitude at SaturnThe Cassini spacecraft was launched on October 15, 1997 and arrived at Saturn on June 30, 2004. It has performed detailed observations and remote sensing of Saturn, its rings, and its satellites since that time. In the event safe mode interrupts normal orbital operations, Cassini has flight software fault protection algorithms to detect, isolate, and recover to a thermally safe and commandable attitude and then wait for further instructions from the ground. But the Saturn environment is complex, and safety hazards change depending on where Cassini is in its orbital trajectory around Saturn. Selecting an appropriate safe mode attitude that insures safe operation in the Saturn environment, including keeping the star tracker field of view clear of bright bodies, while maintaining a quiescent, commandable attitude, is a significant challenge. This paper discusses the Cassini safe table management strategy and the key criteria that must be considered, especially during low altitude flybys of Titan, in deciding what spacecraft attitude should be used in the event of safe mode.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Burk, Thomas A.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 26, 2015
Publication Date
August 2, 2010
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command And Tracking
Meeting Information
AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference 2010(Toronto, ON)
Distribution Limits
Attitude Control

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