TINYSCOPE – The Feasibility of a 3-Axis Stabilized Earth Imaging CubeSat from LEO
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The idea of a nano-sat for tactical imaging applications from LEO is explored. On the battlefield, not every tactical situation requires something as high-tech as an FA-18 dropping a GPS-guided weapon within a couple of meters of the target to get the desired results - sometimes a grenade or a mortar will do the trick. In the same way, a nano-sat imaging from LEO may be a better solution than a national imaging asset for some applications. These spacecraft may be used as short-term low-cost independent elements, for instance; or perhaps in support of traditional large imaging space systems as free-flying “targeting telescopes”. They may also be deployed as elements of a LEO constellation or cluster (think swarm), which would allow for quick re-targeting opportunities over a large portion of the Earth. Tactical Imaging Nano-sat Yielding Small-Cost Operations and Persistent Earth-coverage (TINYSCOPE) is a preliminary investigation using analytical modeling and laboratory experimentation to determine the potential performance and the feasibility of using a 5-U CubeSat as an imager. Emphasis is placed on three-axis attitude stabilization and slewing (for target acquisition and tracking) and performance of various optics hardware configurations. Numerical simulations will be conducted to support the study, in particular on spacecraft dynamics and control.
Publication: AIAA/USU Conference on Small SatellitesPresentation slides
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