A report describes an emerging class of miniature, highly capable, relatively inexpensive satellites that could be launched rapidly by nontraditional methods. Of particular interest is a subclass of proposed launch-on-demand microsatellites for inspecting and servicing other satellites (targets) already in orbit. A satellite of this subclass would have a mass of ≤30 kg and could be launched, by use of a modified missile system, from a fighter airplane in flight.

This work was done by George Jaivin of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. To obtain a copy of the report, "Novel Missions for Next Generation Microsatellites: The Results of a Joint AFRL/JPL Study," access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.nasatech.com/tsp  under the Machinery/Automation category.


This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Launch-On-Demand Servicing Microsatellites

(reference NPO-20813) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the October, 2001 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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