Event Title

The CanX-4&5 Formation Flying Mission: A Technology Pathfinder for Nanosatellite Constellations

Session

Pre-Conference: CubeSat Developers' Workshop

SSC13-WK-24.pdf (3309 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

Future nano- and microsatellite constellations will require highly precise absolute and relative position knowledge and control; intersatellite communications; high-performance attitude determination and control systems; and advanced, compact propulsion systems for orbit maintenance. The dual spacecraft CanX-4&5 mission - slated to launch in the late 2013 / early 2014 timeframe on India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) - will demonstrate all of these capabilities at the nanosatellite scale: both as standalone subsystems, and in concert, to accomplish autonomous formation flight with sub-meter relative position control and centimeter-level relative position determination. CanX-4 and CanX-5 are individual spacecraft based on the SFL Generic Nanosatellite Bus (GNB). Each spacecraft is identical, and formation flight is enabled by each satellite having a GPS receiver, on-board propulsion system, S-Band inter-satellite link, and fine guidance and control (GNC) computer. The two spacecraft will share on-board position, velocity, and attitude data wirelessly over their intersatellite link, and one of the two spacecraft will perform propulsive maneuvers to achieve and maintain a series of autonomous formations. The technologies and algorithms used on CanX-4&5 are extensible to a broad range of missions and satellites at the nano- and microsatellite scale, and this ambitious technology demonstration will serve as a pathfinder for several formation flight and constellation applications.

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Aug 10th, 10:30 AM

The CanX-4&5 Formation Flying Mission: A Technology Pathfinder for Nanosatellite Constellations

Future nano- and microsatellite constellations will require highly precise absolute and relative position knowledge and control; intersatellite communications; high-performance attitude determination and control systems; and advanced, compact propulsion systems for orbit maintenance. The dual spacecraft CanX-4&5 mission - slated to launch in the late 2013 / early 2014 timeframe on India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) - will demonstrate all of these capabilities at the nanosatellite scale: both as standalone subsystems, and in concert, to accomplish autonomous formation flight with sub-meter relative position control and centimeter-level relative position determination. CanX-4 and CanX-5 are individual spacecraft based on the SFL Generic Nanosatellite Bus (GNB). Each spacecraft is identical, and formation flight is enabled by each satellite having a GPS receiver, on-board propulsion system, S-Band inter-satellite link, and fine guidance and control (GNC) computer. The two spacecraft will share on-board position, velocity, and attitude data wirelessly over their intersatellite link, and one of the two spacecraft will perform propulsive maneuvers to achieve and maintain a series of autonomous formations. The technologies and algorithms used on CanX-4&5 are extensible to a broad range of missions and satellites at the nano- and microsatellite scale, and this ambitious technology demonstration will serve as a pathfinder for several formation flight and constellation applications.