The goal of this work is to assess the feasibility of using a two-CubeSat constellation to make continuous solar science measurements from low Earth orbit. There is a growing interest in using CubeSats for scientific missions since they are relatively inexpensive, can be manufactured quickly, and they have a standard form factor. CubeSats have increased access to space, and there is a growing interest in the solar science community to be able to conduct remote sensing solar science missions from a CubeSat platform. By using a constellation separated by differential drag, this mission concept enables continuous measurements of the sun, allowing scientists to have a complete record despite the spacecraft's eclipse periods. In this thesis, I have developed a two-body propagator that takes various inputs for starting altitude, density model, attitude, and spacecraft configuration to enable investigation over a large trade space. Following the model development, I ran a series of simulations to explore the feasibility of this concept, finding that there are many combinations of parameters that produce a feasible mission design. I show that the model is validated by altitude decay data from the MinXSS CubeSat, I will discuss areas of the design that require further study, and I explore the logical next steps for future development of this concept.
|Advisor:||Marshall, Robert A.|
|Commitee:||Kubitschek, Daniel, Palo, Scott|
|School:||University of Colorado at Boulder|
|School Location:||United States -- Colorado|
|Source:||MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Aerospace engineering, Atmospheric sciences|
|Keywords:||Constellation, Cubesat, Differential drag, Low Earth orbit, Mission design, Solar science|
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