Optimized Ground Solutions to Support Unique Small Satellite Communication Requirements

Many considerations go into providing reliable communications to small satellites. This paper will explore how SSC is optimizing its existing global ground station network to support the unique requirements of small satellites, including the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) constellation of 8 microsatellites. SSC has provided the ground network for CYGNSS TT&C operations since…

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Methodology and Results of James Webb Space Telescope Thermal Vacuum Optical System Alignment Testing and Analysis

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project is an international collaboration led by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. The Webb Telescope is NASA’s flagship observatory that will operate nearly a million miles away from Earth at the L2 Lagrange point. Webb’s optical design is a three-mirror anastigmat with four main optical…

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Updated Performance Results of the Phase Four RF Thruster

We present the latest performance measurements of the Phase Four RF Thruster (RFT) from testing performed at The Aerospace Corporation and at Phase Four laboratories. The RFT is a nano-satellite-scalable, electrothermal radiofrequency thruster in development that uses RF power to heat xenon plasma propellant, and accelerate it in a radially diverging magnetic plume. The talk…

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Results from Flight Qualification of Accion Systems’ TILE 500-class Ion Electrospray Propulsion System

The current satellite industry demands proven, scalable in-space propulsion technologies and is projected to see a dramatic increase in satellite manufacturing and launch over the next decade. The industry has yet to see a single proven, scalable propulsion technology that’s well suited for satellites of all sizes. Scalable ion electrospray propulsion has been developed to…

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Enhancing Finite Element Analysis with Digital Image Correlation Point Cloud Test Data

With a new shift towards rocket reusability in trying to reduce launch costs, the ability to gain insight into how to launch vehicles perform thorough analysis and testing is more critical than ever. Trying to balance the very dynamic and extreme loads during take-off with the complex and intricate weight-reducing vehicle structural designs has challenged…

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