COMS Other Information & Notes

This page contains other information & notes regarding the communications system.


ORBITAL CONSIDERATIONS:


The Cubesat will be launched sometime in summer 2009. The satellite will be carried in an Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD) during a so-called piggyback launch. Using this principal the small satellite is able to be launched with a bigger satellite, which makes the launch of such a small and light satellite very cheap.

The point and orientation of launch heavily affects the orientation of the satellite's orbit. A satellite is launched from a point a on the surface of the earth. The launch latitude and longitude are given by L and λ respectively. The satellite is launched with an azimuth angle of B.

We can calculate i as:

(1)
\begin{equation} cos(i) = sin(B)cos(L) \end{equation}

We can see from this result that a direct orbit must have a launch azimuth between 0° and 180°. A retrograde orbit must have a launch angle between 180° and 360°.

It can be seen that satellites cannot be put into an equatorial orbit if the launch site is not on the equator. A launch site cannot obtain an orbital inclination smaller then the launch latitude. For that reason, launch sites closer to the equator have a larger range of possible orbits. A launch site directly on the equator can put a satellite into any orbit.

One needs to achieve an inclination of at least about 40-45 degrees as the satellite will never be seen above the horizon.

The orbit of our Cubesat should be mainly selected so the satellite will fly over the ground station located in Leicester (52°38'N 1°08'W).

Possible launch sites:
Russia, Baikonur Cosmodrome - Tyuratam
Latitude 45°36'N Longitude 63°24'E

For an extensive list and detail of launch sites, click here.

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