ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository

Utilizing Low Earth Orbit for a Space Interferometer Laboratory by Three Satellites
Takahiro Ito, Isao Kawano, Ikkoh Funaki, Shin-ichiro Sakai
Presented at:
Virtual Conference 2021
Full paper:

This paper investigates the possibilities of utilizing low Earth orbit for a three-satellite virtual laboratory in developing the optimum technologies for future interferometric space missions. Because these satellites must maintain a rigid, ultra-precise formation (within less than 1 m) to make necessary observations, their orbits must be established in an environment with weak relative acceleration. For this purpose, a low Earth orbit provides an ideal environment for spacecraft separated by 100 m or less.