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Tacsat ORS
Part of Road Runner/NGMB/SN-200
Tacsat-2
Tacsat-2
Credit: Manufacturer Image
American military surveillance satellite. The Tactical Satellite / Operationally Responsive Satellite program's objective was to demonstrate techniques to dramatically shorten the development time for small satellites. Technology, imaging satellite built by Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL); MicroSat Systems (bus) for Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), USA. Launched 2006. Used the Road Runner Bus (NGMB, Next Generation Multifunctional Bus). Launched 2006.

AKA: ORS. Status: Operational 2006. First Launch: 2006-12-16. Last Launch: 2011-09-27. Number: 4 . Gross mass: 370 kg (810 lb).

Objectives were to take the spacecraft from concept to launch under 14 months; to achieve full on-orbit functionality within a week after launch; to demonstrate communication, command and control of the satellite by tactical field units; to image targets on earth with a resolution of under 1 m; to geolocate emitting radio targets and image them in the same pass; and demonstrate several further advanced technology experiments. The prototypes were to lead to a production TacSat design that would give Joint Task Force Commanders a direct operational capability by 2010.

The spacecraft bus was developed by MicroSat Systems of Littleton, Colorado using the spare bus of the canceled TechSat-21 program. The bus structure consisted of composite face sheets over an aluminum honeycomb core, comprising only 13% of the spacecraft mass. The basic structure was an irregular octagon with a payload and a separation deck. The platform was 3-axis stabilized, capable of providing a pointing accuracy of = 0.15. The ADCS (Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem) employed 3 reaction wheels (Dynacon MW-1000) and 3 torque rods as actuators. A star camera, referred to as ISC (Interstellar Compass), provided high-precision attitude measurements. An IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), analog sun sensors, and a magnetometer completed the ADCS sensor suite. Electric power of up to 550 W was provided by the solar array. The Li-Ion battery had a capacity of 30 Ah. The bus power system provided 28 V switched power. The C&DH (Command and Data Handling) subsystem employed a Power PC. Bus communication were provided by a Mini-SGLS (Miniature Space-to-Ground Link Subsystem), using 2 pairs of patch antennas for full spherical coverage and an encryption device. The spacecraft had a mass of about 370 kg.

The most important innovation of TacSat-2 was the use of a space-based CDL. Flying a CDL transponder required ground-breaking work in frequency allocations and communications security (COMSEC) approaches. Direct tasking and data dissemination were implemented using the SIPRNet (Secret Internet Protocol Routing Network) capabilities, a classified network of DoD. The SIPRNet system objectives were to integrate all space assets into the forces so that the Joint Task Force (JTF) Commander could call up assets by deciding the payload capability required, i.e., the area of interest, the area for direct downlink, and the date the assets must be operational.

Tacsat-2 flew the following sensor/experiment complement:


More at: Tacsat ORS.

Family: Communications, Military surveillance sat, MX, Surveillance, Technology. Country: USA. Launch Vehicles: Minuteman, Minotaur, Minotaur 1, Minotaur IV-Plus. Launch Sites: Wallops Island, Wallops Island LA0B. Bibliography: 2, 13247, 13248, 13249, 13250.
Photo Gallery

Tacsat 3Tacsat 3
Credit: Manufacturer Image


Tacsat 4Tacsat 4
Credit: Manufacturer Image



2006 December 16 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA0B. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 1.
2009 May 19 - . 23:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA0B. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 1.
2011 June 30 - . 03:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA0B. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 1.
2011 September 27 - . 15:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Kodiak. LV Family: Peacekeeper. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur IV-Plus.

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