Encyclopedia Astronautica
Coriolis



coriolis.jpg
Coriolis
Credit: USAF
American earth sea satellite. One launch, 2003.01.06.

Coriolis was an Air Force Space Test Program (SMC Det 12 ST) and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) 3-year meteorological science mission to demonstrate the viability of using polarimetry to measure ocean surface wind speed and direction from space, and to demonstrate predictions of geomagnetic disturbances through continuous observation of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs).

The two Government furnished payload instruments were:

  • WindSat, a 341 kg yaw-spinning, passive, polarimetric microwave radiometer developed by the U.S. Navy and the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Integrated Program Office (IPO). WindSat was a risk reduction item in the development of the planned production Conical Microwave Imager Sounder (CMIS).

  • Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI), a 35 kg camera-based sensor developed by the USAF Research Laboratory (AFRL) and built by the University of Birmingham, UK, and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). SMEI monitored solar activity through three separate cameras with a collective 3x180 degree FOV, allowing full sky coverage during each orbit. Detection of potentially damaging Earth-bound CMEs would help to protect space assets and to maintain stable communications.

These instruments gathered science data which the spacecraft stored in mass memory and subsequently downlinked at up to 51.2 Mbps to a commercial X-band ground station with end-to-end latency as low as 4 hours. Prime contractor Spectrum Astro had Total Space Vehicle Responsibility, which included spacecraft design, manufacture, integration and test; experiment integration; space vehicle verification; launch processing; and on-orbit checkout.

Coriolis Specifications

General

  • Vehicle Envelope: 6.9 m high x 3.0 m diameter, deployed
  • Mass: 817 kg at launch (395 kg dry bus; 82 kg propellant; 340 kg PL)
  • Orbit Average Power Consumption: 725 Watts (271 W bus; 454 W PL)
  • Core Bus Design: Spectrum Astro's SA-200HP, redundant
  • Launch Vehicle: Titan II, 7.62 m stretched fairing
  • Launch Date: January 6, 2003
  • Operational Orbit: 830 km circ @ 98.7, sun synchronous, twilight
  • Mission Lifetime: 3 years (5 yr goal)
  • Radiation Tolerance: 26 Krads total dose

Mission Objectives

  • Demonstrate the polarimetric microwave radiometry technique for measuring ocean surface wind vector (NPOESS/CMIS risk reduction)
  • Downlink real time data products to field users, continuously
  • Demonstrate prediction of CME-based geomagnetic storms Instruments
  • WindSat Polarimetric Microwave Radiometer with a highly sensitive receiver, operating at 6.8 to 37 GHz
  • Radiometer antenna assembly spinning about yaw at 29.6 RPM
  • Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI) provided 4p sr of sky coverage per orbit, monitors CME propagation through interstellar space

      Structures and Mechanisms

  • Al honeycomb / Al facesheet construction
  • Bus module was a sealed Faraday cage to reduce radiated emissions
  • Four point bolted interface for the WindSat payload
  • Flexure mounted ACS optical bench, mounted on WindSat payload
  • Three panel deployable array (2 hinge lines, 4 springs, 2 dampers)

Electrical Power

  • Dual-junction GaAs solar arrays; 1174 Watts at EOL
  • 50 A-hr NiH2 SPV battery
  • 28 6V power bus, payloads, and deployments
  • Automatic load shedding of payload and nonessential loads

Command and Data Handling

  • Flexible, flight proven, 6U VME-based architecture
  • RAD6000, 20 MHz CPU with 128 Mbytes DRAM
  • 1553B payload data interface, 30 Gbit solid state recorder

Attitude Determination and Control

  • 3-axis stabilized, pitch momentum biased
  • Stellar-inertial attitude determination; Wheel based pointing control; Magnetic momentum management
  • ADACS max. errors (3s, steady-state spin): 324 arcsec control; 194 arcsec knowledge; 108 arcsec jitter (spacecraft flexibility)
  • GPS-based orbit knowledge to <100 m, 10 cm/sec, all axes

Telemetry, Tracking and Control

  • 128 Kbps SOH telemetry downlink; 2 Kbps encrypted command uplink (SGLS)
  • Selectable 25.6 or 51.2 Mbps X-band PL data downlink (CCSDS)
  • SMQ-11 continuous tactical downlink at 256 Kbps (SGLS)
  • Bit error rate < 10-6 (all links)

Thermal Control

  • Cold biased with radiators and MLI blankets to adjust energy balance
  • Thermostatically controlled heaters
  • Thermally isolated WindSat interface; coupled SMEI interface

Propulsion (orbit raising)

  • Monopropellant, hydrazine, blowdown system
  • Four thrusters, 4.4 Newtons each

Chronology

  • 23 March 1999 - Spectrum Astro Selected to Provide Satellite for Coriolis Mission
  • 2 August 2001 - Spectrum Astro Ships Coriolis Spacecraft to NRL
  • 18 April 2002 - Coriolis Spacecraft Undergoes Environmental Testing
  • 4 December 2002 - Coriolis Spacecraft Moved to Launch Pad

Gross mass: 828 kg (1,825 lb).
First Launch: 2003.01.06.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Titan The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Titan American orbital launch vehicle. The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...
  • Titan 2 American intercontinental ballistic missile. ICBM, developed also as the launch vehicle for the manned Gemini spacecraft in the early 1960's. When the ICBM's were retired in the 1980's they were refurbished and a new series of launches began. More...
  • Titan 2G American intercontinental ballistic orbital launch vehicle. Space launch version, obtained through minimal refurbishment of decommissioned ICBM's. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC4W Titan, Atlas launch complex. First designated PALC2-3 and used to launch Atlas Agena D with KH-7 spysats. Rebuilt in 1966 to handle Titan 3B with various military payloads. From 1988 used to launch refurbished surplus Titan 2 ICBM's in space launch role. More...

Coriolis Chronology


2003 January 6 - . 14:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-4 / M68B-105 / 66-4316.
  • Coriolis - . Payload: SA-200HP, P98-2. Mass: 828 kg (1,825 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: Gilbert. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Coriolis. USAF Sat Cat: 27640 . COSPAR: 2003-001A. Apogee: 936 km (582 mi). Perigee: 742 km (461 mi). Inclination: 98.7362 deg. Period: 101.55 min. Coriolis was an Air Force Space Test Program three-year meteorological science mission to demonstrate the viability of using polarimetry to measure ocean surface wind speed and direction from space, and to demonstrate predictions of geomagnetic disturbances through continuous observation of Coronal Mass Ejections. Launch delayed from August 22, November 15, December 15, 16, 17 and 18, 2002 and January 5, 2003.

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