High-Latitude Communications Satellite (HILACS)
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
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The Naval Postgraduate School in the AE 4871 Advanced Spacecraft Design course has designed a communications satellite (HILACS) that will provide a continuous UHF communications link between stations located north of the region covered by geosynchronous communications satellites. This area (above approximately 60 ° N) will be served via a relay net control station (NCS) located with access to both the HILACS and geosynchronous communications satellites. The communications payload will operate only for that portion of the orbit necessary to provide specified coverage. The satellite orbit is elliptic with perigee at 1204 km in the southern hemisphere and apogee at 14,930 km with 63.4 ° inclination. Analysis and design for each of the subsystems was done to the extent possible within the constraints of an 11-week quarter and the design and analysis tools available. Work was completed in orbital analysis, the reaction control subsystem (RCS), attitude control subsystem (ACS), electric power subsystem (EPS), telemetry, tracking, and control (IT&C), thermal control subsystem, and the structures subsystem. The design team consisted of 12 students. Additional support was provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Naval Research Laboratory.
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