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NASA TT F-15,104 ';


U. Picker, E. Bachor, P. Soppa and .W. Trogus

Translation of:"Der deutsche Aeronomiesatellit AEROS." Raumfahrtforschung, No. 2, 1973, pp. ^9-57

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Ulrich Picker*, Edgar Bachor*, Peter .Soppa* and Wolfgang Trogus** .


Introduction On December 16, 1972, the U. S. Air Force in Vandenberg,

.; 749***

California launched the third German Aeronomy satellite (AEROS) into a near-earth polar satellite trajectory (Figure 1). At 12:25 Central European time, the new and improved first stage of the Scout launch rocket ignited. After burnout of the 4th stage, o . , ' which is a solid fuel rocket like the others, a successful orbit insertion was reported. The exact trajectory measurement by the NASA tracking station resulted in a perigee of 218 km, an apogee ,. of 865 km and an Inclination of 96.9°. This was a sufficient approximation to the nominal values. The propulsion system of the satellite which'-is provided to perform trajectory corrections, was therefore first not required to provide the nominal lifetime of one-half a year or to guarantee sun synchronous conditions by means of an inclination correction. The development project came to a conclusion with this launch. The first feasability study was carried out in January of 1968 by the GfW (Association for Space Research). . This was * Dipl.-Ing., Dornier-System GmbH, 799 Friedrichshafen,

Postfach 648 • ** Dipl.-Math., Dornier-System GmbH *** Numbers in the margin indicate 'pagination of original foreign text.

done at the request of the Federal Ministry for Sciences and Research (BMWP). . . 2. Mission and 2.1 operation.

Experiment s_

AEROS is an aeronomy satellite. It is used to research the upper atmosphere in the range between 200 to 800 km. A large number of parameters is determined at the same time, so that their mutual relationships can be studied. For example, the dependence on altitude, geographic longitude and latitude, time of day and season and the influence of sun radiation are. determined. The satellite carries the following five experiments (see Figure 2): - A mass spectrometer (MS) for- determining the partial densities of ions and mutual particles in the mass range between 1 - 4 4 (atomic weight); - Counter voltage analyzer (GSA) for measuring temperatures, i.e., the energy distribution of ions and electrons. At the same time, the total ion density is determined; - Impedance probe (IP) for measuring the electron density; - EUV-spectrometer for measuring the flux and the spectrodistribution of the solar extreme ultraviolet radiation in the range between 150 to 580 A" and from 300 to 1080 A; - Temperature measurement device for neutral particles. (NATE) for determining the temperature and total density of the neutral particles as well as the concentration of molecular



The experiment mentioned last was built by Goddard" Space Plight Center at NASA. The others were built by German institutes.. ' . •" In addition, a sixth "passive" experiment results in a NASA determination of the atmospheric braking of the satellite and therefore, the short time density variations of the atmosphere. For this, it is necessary to continuously have a very exact trajectory determination. . . 2. 2 Measurement^ p_r£gr_am • .

2,21. ..Measurement profile,

During the measurement phase, so-called "measurement orbits" alternate with "idling" orbits. In the measurement orbits, the experiments are operated according to one of the four programs.. During the idling orbits, they are turned off. Under normal conditions, no additional ground commands are needed in addition to the tape interrogations.


Each orbit starts when the satellite emerges from the shadow, which is detected by the sun sensor. The EUV experiment carries out,during the first 10 minutes after entering the shadow, a special shadow program during every 4th measurement orbit. The other experiments continue to measure in the shadow. The counter voltage analyzer consists of two sensors,•which measure over the Northern and Southern hemispheres^ A switching to a different sensor takes place about 24° and 156° North of the ecliptic, with an accuracy of ± 15°..


™ ••

• _M

S7ACE 3 S E P .


Figure 1.

Launch of the Scout,carrier rocket with the satellite . AEROS. . " .

During the subsequent idling orbits, the complete tape unit with the recorded measurement data is played out if there is contact with one of the ground stations. In.addition, the batteries are recharged and, if necessary, an adjustment is made to the axis position and spin rate. When neither of the two tape storage units are empty, one measurement orbit is automatically suppressed. Changes in the measurement orbit/idling orbit cycle can be brought about by ground command.. 2.22 Measurement programs

The following measurement programs were planned, - Normal program - Special program -. Reduced normal program - Modified special program







"Figure 2.

AEROS Configuration.

Each program has; a duration of one complete revolution and runs completely automatically. All programs can be turned on and off by ground command at arbitrary (contact) times. All program commands are immediately carried out during a measurement orbit. Only the "special program on" command is delayed up to the next following measurement orbit. Normal program The normal program brings about quasi-simultaneous measurements with all five experiments. The MS and the GSA measure sectors which are symmetric with respect to the incident flow vector, i.e., when the angle between the sensor axis and the

incident flow vector is smallest. The measurement times therefore depend on the spin duration. For fluctuations within the range (10 ±0.1 rpm) the experiments are controlled by the ion sensor signal in such a way that the optimumlangular ranges are .coveredj[see below "Measurement Phase Control".
. &

Within each experiment, there is a switching to various operational modes which will not be described here. Special program In this case the MS and the GSA carry out rotational sweep measurements in a certain sequence. All measurement modes of the two experiments are. carried out in 163 revolutions. The other three experiments measure just like in the normal program. Reduced normal program This program is provided if there is a failure of the two buffer storage units. During the third and fourth spin, the measurements with the experiments MS and GSA are omitted. The other experiments are not influenced (nor are the operational surve-n.1a.nce data). ' • .• Modified special program The" are interrogated and transmitted in -a manner which is not synchronous with the spinning. Instead, it is controlled by a fixed rhythm. In addition, revolution scan measurements are carried out just like in the special program. This program therefore provides the complete set of the experimental data, just like the normal program and the special program. There is a certain kind of "data reduction" on board the satellite for the normal and special programs. In the

6 ' • .



modified special program, all the measured values are . transmitted
to the ground and are processed there. 2.3 Mi s_s :L on analy £3i£
, &

/51 .

2.31 Trajectory design and development The requirements for the trajectory were the following. - Initial apogee between 800 and 1,000 km altitudes. - Initial perigee on the" day side of the earth - Apogee during the lifetime of the satellite shall not drop below 600 km. - Perigee as low as possible, but under 250 km altitude.

- Lifetime of the satellite must be -at least 1/2 a year.
- High inclination - Sun-synchronous 3 hour/15 hour trajectory. - Accuracy of sun-synchronous conditions to within ± 1 hour (± 15°) over 1/2 a year. r- The .apogee should be increased again after about 5 months. These requirements were satisfied by the , trajectory shown in Figure 3- The main parameters after launched were the follow ing (the nominal values are given in parentheses): Perigee Apogee Inclination Argument of the perigee: . - Longitude of the h = 218 km (NominalV230 km) A = ^5 km (Nominal: 800 km) i = 96.94° (Nominal;^ 97.2°) (Nominalf 160°)



u> = 168°

ascending node - Mean anomaly .

n = 312° (Nominal;: 310° ) M = 350.5° (Nominal: 0°)


Figure 3.

Trajectory of the AEROS,

(Epoch: . December 16, 1972, 11 hours, 32 minutes, world time) The parameters derived from this are: . .Semi-major axis Eccentricity Anomalistic revolution period Lifetime prediction (GSFC), without raising the trajectory 6919.5 km 0.046? 95.47 min 200 days

The"3 hour/15 hour trajectory" condition led to a launch time of 11 hours, 25 minutes (world time) with only a 10 minute "launch window". However, any day of the year was available as a launch day. The sun synchronous condition is provided by the retrograde trajectory inclination. Apparently, this is reached to within an accuracy of better than ±7°.


Figure 4. .Altitudes over the lifetime.



Figure 5.

Deviation from sun-synchronous conditions,
.360. .__

-...._!_• ;J
Figure, 6. Position of the sun in the trajectory system.


.The trajectory also has the following

characteristics: /52

- Shadow, time between 32 and 34 min (32.5 to 3%% 'of the revolution time). - Migration of the perigee is about 3.5°/day (retrograde). . - Migration of the nodes is 0.9856°/day on the average. : In this way, sun-synchronous conditions are obtained. - Radiation from the sun on the trajectory plane is always at an angle of somewhat less than 45°. - The sun crosses the equator on the ascending leg and on the descending leg at the same local time, that is, at 15 hours and 3 hours, respectively. .Figures 4 to 7 show a few parameters as a function of time. They are based on our own (pessimistic) trajectory, predictions. 2.32 Mission phases • .

The mission can be decomposed into the following segments:
- Launch and ascent - Acquisition

• .

- Preliminary measurement phase ' - Main, measurement phase, interrupted by


- Second acquisition
- Reentry Launch and 'ascent

• The launch direction was approximately to the South (azimuth 188°). The events during the launch are shown in Figure 1.



Acquisition During this phase, we wanted to achieve the following

C33, [5],



-. Trajectory measurement - Attitude determination - Decay of the nutation - Adjustment of a spin rate of 10 ± 2.5 '£PJ}> and later to the nominal value of 10 ± 0.1 'rpm. - Trajectory corrections if necessary - Turning into the sun (with a deflection of less than 5°) - Switching of the subsistance to mission operational conditions. Because the trajectory elements were close to nominal (see above), we do not have to carry out the planned correction maneuver. However, we will discuss this in more detail, because the AEROS differs considerably in this regard from other Scout satellites.

i The statistical'-inj ection 'error^of the ';Sc'out rocket is quite large because a solid fuel rocket. In the case of the AEROS launch, we had to plan with
fAh p ~=~+ : 'l3/-30"km~. ,Ah A = ± 211 km Ai = ± 1,2°

with a probability of 95% (2 sigma-values). This meant that the combined trajectory requirements (altitudes, lifetime and sun-' synchronous condition) could not be satisfied with sufficient certainty. This is why the AEROS has a special engine for carrying out trajectory corrections.


--im --•—

,50 Day's!

Because of the possible deviations from the insertion perigee, it was appropriate to set the perigee at a somewhat higher value (240 instead of 230 km). The perigee altitude actually achieved was 218 km and justified the use of this method.

The following procedure was adapted for a possible correction maneuver. After turning the spin, Figure 7- Geographic longitude of perigee and apogee.axis, the first trajectory determination and based on the derived calculations of the lifetime and the sun-synchronous condition, a decision is made as to which maneuver (one only!) will be made. The.following are candidates. - Change in the perigee altitude

- Chang© in the apogee altitude
- Change in the inclination

The following have priority. • 1 - At least a lifetime of 150 days. 2 - Perigee altitude between 220 and 240 km. - 3 --Inclination between 96.9 and 97.5°.


The execution of the maneuvers requires extensive preparations on board and also on the ground. . ' • ' - Trajectory and attitude determination.. - Trajectory prediction - Determination of the nominal thrust direction. - Determination of the delayed command for the required axis rotation.


- Transmission of the delayed command for attitude change to the satellite and execution on board. - New attitude determination. - Transmission of the delayed command for engine firing and execution on board. . - Trajectory determination . •"

- Axis rotation back to the sun (autonomous on board on command). . .
We will not discuss the details here. For. this, see references [3] and [6]. These items will again become acute towards the . end of. a lifetime, when the apogee altitude is again raised (2nd acquisition). Preliminary measurement phase and main measurement phase During the preliminary measurement phase, the subsystems-of the satellite are tested and the experiments are turned on in sequence and calibrated. Also preparations for the measurements are made. This was done up to the 12th day after-launching. The subsequent main measurement phase will result in the main scientific measurement data. The measurements made at the lowest altitudes, that is towards the end of the lifetime, are believed to have the greatest scientific value. 3. Basic problems in the conception 3.1 Mec_ha.noLcal_de_s_ign

As mentioned above, it was only the trajectory requirements in conjunction with the insertion accuracies of the Scout carrier rocket which led to the incorporation of a trajectory correc- •-. .tion system in the satellite concept...- .Since there was then-a


possibility of a trajectory correction device, the raising of the apogee.after about four months was only considered secondarily so that scientific measurements could be repeated at the same altitude for changed seasonal conditions. In addition to the low spin rate, which was a constraint for the scientific experiments, it was the continuous orientation towards the sun, a requirement for the EUV experiment, which influenced the basic design of the satellite. The orientation of ' the spin axis towards the sun limited the position and dimensions . of a solar generator and this stimulated the conception of an active attitude control system. Solar cell paddles could not be .used because the experimental sensors required a field of visibility of 27T. It would have been possible to control the axis and the spin using cold gas or hot gas systems. The mass spectre-meter with its large measurement range between the mass numbers 1 to 44 posed a severe restriction here, however. This measurement range includes all conventional gases which are used in control systems with thrust nozzles. For this reason, ,we preferred a magnetic control system, which at the same time meant that fuel and gas tanks could be dropped. This fact is.a positive side phenomenon'if we consider the greatly limited 'space limitations . of 'Scout satellites. There are other special features of the satellite which can be attributed to the sensitivity of the mass spectrometer. However, from a different point of view, these new properties were not very favorable. In order to avoid erroneous measurements, /53 based on exhaust gas production of the satellite, it was necessary to avoid organic surface coatings on the outer surface of the satellite. The only exceptions to this were the adhesive surfaces which.protruded between the solar, cells of the generator. The covering was made of a steel with low outgassing. It is made from one piece and only contains openings along the conical part


and diametrally across from the MS sensor. These provide pressure .equilization during the launch and rapid degassing of the inner space during the first days of the mission.

Detailed analytical models were required in order to be able to evaluate disturbing effects of backward scattered outgassing particles on the mass spectrometer [8], The closed steel shell, of course, produced further problems. For example, it had a large weight and access to the interior was restricted. Also there was a technical difficulty of making the' surface have the desired absorption and the emission factor for the thermal concept without the use of any organic paints. Finally, this problem was solved by bombarding the outer covering with glass splinters. . As far as the requirements for surface properties, the MS experiment was supported by the counter voltage analyzer (GSA),. which required an eigen potential of the satellite structure ' which would be as low as possible because this is used as a reference voltage for the experimental measurements. The transition resistance from the satellite to the plasma in its surroundings should be below one kOhm-cm2, which of course is provided in an optimal way by a free metallic surface. 3•2 Tele£oiranuni_cat ipns_ •

, '

For scientific reasons, it was necessary t.o perform all ; measurements at the same time. This resulted in a maximum data flow during a measurement orbit. One of the two tape storage, units (about 3 million bit) is sufficient to store data from an entire measurement orbit. In the case where two useful ground'contacts (at least 5 minutes of data, transmission) are

' •

' ..-.'•



Figure 8. Geometric conditions for the switching point of the magnetic control system. separated in time so much that two measurement orbits must be recorded between them, the redundant tape storage unit is '' ' automatically used to record data during the second measurement orbit. .Because the data production of the payload was irregular, it was sometimes required to have intermediate storage for the data before recording by the tape storage unit. In one part of the measurement programs, all experiments measure in a dense sequence during one spin revolution (6 seconds). Because of the high data rate, it was necessary to provide for data reduction on board in order to be able to store all the essential data in one frame (6 seconds). In the GSA and MS experiments, the measurement range was specified in an angular range which was symmetric with respect to the direction of the incident flow (identical with the flight direction). This direction is indicated by the ion sensor when such measurements are carried






out. However, the pulses from the ion sensor cannot be used directly for controlling the interrogation. In the polar regions, we can expect so-called ion winds which are so strong that they would falsify any indication of true flight direction. Because of the trajectory geometry, the pulse frequency of the-- sensor changes during one earth revolution (independent of the spin disturbance). This change is also not linear over time. In the polar regions, it is so large that the limits of-adjustment for telecommunications are reached. For this reason, an average pulse frequency was formed over the equatorial latitudes, and it was maintained over the poles. A deviation is only permitted if it is to be expected because of a change in the spin rate during a revolution [9]. 3-3 Att_itud.e_c£ntrol_and_at_titude_ measurement^

As already indicated, we decided to use a magnetic control system because of the perturbation problems caused by the mass spectrometer as well as because of space limitations. This system can orient the., spin axis with respect to the sun within 5°, and can continuously control the spin rate'to 10 rpm ± ig.' In addition, the satellite must be oriented during the acquisition phase in such a way that a midcourse maneuver can be carried out using the engines which are aligned with the direction of the spin axis. The motions of the satellite which produce attitude changes are caused by servo-moments, which are based on the interaction between the earth's magnetic field and magnetic dipoles which are produced on board the .satellite at certain times by means of coil systems. The axis orientation with respect to the sun and the control of the spin rate are completely autonomous functions on board the satellite. Arbitrary changes in the axis

orientation must be commanded through ground stations. These maneuvers require preliminary calculations of the satellite attitude in order to activate the coils,.using delayed.commands ,• at the right time and for a certain duration with the correct polarization. . / » ' ' Such maneuvers assume that so-called switching points exist along the orbit, i.e. sections along the trajectory which offer special relationships between the coil geometry on board the satellite and the direction of the earth's magnetic field (Figure 8). The several earthT_s_ field. arid are attitude measurements required for control jare based on sensors which are oriented towards the sun, towards jthe horizon.Ia^d_tow_ard_s_t'he' _dlre_ct_iqn__o_f_fche earth'js _magneti_cj The measurement data are processed on board the satellite also transmitted by telemetry for scientific evaluation.


In the same issue of "Raumfahrtforschung" CSpaceflight Research) there is a detailed report on the attitude measurement and attitude control system of the AEROS satellite. This is why we will not discuss the details here. 3. ^ Energ_y_supp_ly_

The small margin between supply and'energy requirement led to a particular concept of energy supply. The area of the solar generator could not be increased. It was necessary to optimize the conversion losses, for the main part. The power production of the solar generator is used in an optimum way because it can be continuously operated at the point of maximum power. If there is an energy requirement, a specially designed control system controls the generator to the point of maximum power along a U/I characteristic which varies primarily with temperature.


The satellite is in the earth's shadow during 1/3.of a revolution and must therefore draw power from batteries. AEROS had two batteries of ' .-'' varying types: ' the Ag-Zn battery has a high capacity for use during the acquisition times, for which the satel^ lite attitude results in insufficient solar irradiation for the generator. The socalled mission battery, a Ni-Cd type can be'cycled more frequently. Figure 9. Internal structure and arrangement of the modules. The energy supply system also had to solve the problem of degassing, because the Ag-Zn cells are not gas tight. This led to. a denser battery housing with an overpressure, safety valve.
t _ .


Description of the subsystems 4.1 Mec_han:Lcal_de_si_gn

The structure (Figures 9-12) ,shows~~th'at~tn"ere~Ts'~a d'i vi s ion of • the satellite into an outer and inner structure. The inner structure consists of three vertical equipment platforms which are supported by three cross members. The three collar supports meet in a form of a star at the adapter for the launch rocket. The fuel tank is supported in the center of the star by means of a ring, and the ring constitutes a support between the three sandwich plates. The internal structure supports the entire


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' "-.v?-~—*,-.-%>-;.•••.*'X'-:-^-" ^

* ;• -,*..*. v'e?.-.*-*&a {-»••»•;«-* « ^ j i ' t j'»»y
-••-'. *----'• ' - "\ f,- ~ " , - ' « *' f i ,;•/. '-s^--e>^; ' . * k * -""i ' - * * \ ^ T - y ' » " •^ ^g^^^*j


Figure 10. Integration of the internal and external structure. electronic equipment, unless it is a part of the sensors. It •t is the only module which is attached to the 'steel outer shell. This arrangement was selected so that components belonging to the same subsystem would be located on one plate. This has advantages for cabling and installation of the units. Of course, there are limits because the satellite must be balanced in a sensible way. For example, the position of the two heavy batteries was determined by balancing considerations. The tape storage units caused special problems. Because

of the vibrational load during ascent, they had to be mounted in a preferred load direction. This led to the concept of two separate collar supports at the satellite, adapter base. addition, a structural dynamic analysis of the long mass In



Figure 11. Prototype on the shake table.

spectrometer sensor had to be made. Analysis and tests /55 then led to 'a rigid -connection between the sensor and the inner structure using a threelegged support construction and a very soft connection with the outer shell. The entire outer structure (shell plus solar cell support) is connected.with the inner structure with damping elements. It is connected to the adapter, the ends of the -. collar support and to the in- . strument plate at 2 points. ' Both structural parts are coupled with a large damping. The damping behavior can be varied over a wide range by

exchanging the damping elements or by a continuous variation of the tensioning moments. \ In this way we were able to reduce the oscillation amplification of the entire structure compared with the level introduced at-the adapter of the 4th rocket stage to below a factor of four. It was very important to save weight and to use materials with small amounts of outgassing. In addition, it was necessary to avoid ferromagnetic materials. Often these parameters were contradictory, which was especially the case in the steel outer shell. The collar support adapter and other structural parts, as well as most of the component housing pieces, were made of magnesium. For example titanium screws were used based on magnetic considerations.


The despin from l65(Scout' 4th stage) to 10 + 2.5 rpjn: is performed by a normal yo-yo system. The fine' tuning to 10 ± 1% irpm is provided by a magnetic spin control system. Two different configurations were considered for balancing the system. This was 'the launch configuration and the mission configuration. The mission configuration became applicable about one week after launch, as soon as the. experimental shields had been dropped after a sufficient degassing phase. These two configurations could not be Figure 12. Preparation for balanced using only fixed space simulation test, balance masses - of a structure'^ and a sufficiently accurate attitude control could not be provided either. On the other hand, the arrangement of the sensorsxalong the periphery was not arbitrary because among other things, the planned data interrogation of the experiments was prescribed and reference to the incident flow vector (flight direction) of the satellite at a constant spin rate. Also the mutual angular position of the sensors along the circumference of the cylinder is prescribed by the constant spin rate of the satellite. This could only be solved by using an additional balance mass, which is jettisoned together with the coverings of the mass spectrometer and NATE.- .






Altitude (maximum, without IS antenna):

7^0.1 mm.

Diameter-(without telemetry antenna)
Mass: Launch ' Mission (tank filled) :

914.0 mm
126.8 kg 125.2 kg

Center of gravity (Mission configuration)
' '

'Xs =' 0.18 ± 0.01 mm "| . Y, = -0.86 ±0,01 mm ' 2i =_ 389.5 i: 0,5 mm

Principal moment of inertia and moment ratios (Mission configuration, tank filled). ' i, = i2.3kgm2~±i°/o;
|,/I2 =. .1.152 \il\3 = 1.106 ', '

(around spin axis)

Dynamic imbalance (Mission configuration)
~lxy: 276.2 kgcm2 Ix*: -2.4 kgcm2 ' Iv2: -7,7 kgcm2 •



Origin of the coordinate systems: Penetration point of the spin axis through the adapter separation plane (Figure 2).

4.2 P_ropuls_ion_sy_st_em The system (Figure 13) uses hydrazine as fuel. The spherical tank contains a membrane which separates the hydrazin in the lower part from the propellant gas nitrogen. There are fueling valves and lines for each of the media. It is possible to fill and monitor the pressure of each from the outside when the satellite is completely integrated [] 7.


Figure 13. Structure of the AEROS propulsion system.

Figure 14. Block diagram of energy supply.

For safety reasons, the fuel was; only loaded at the launch site in order to not have to handle the dangerous hydrazine ..more often than necessary, the system was filled with alcohol or with gas only for test purposes.

The thrusters consist

of a two-seat magnetic valve.


it opens by remote control, the hydrazine enters the combustion chamber. .The combustion chamber is lined with a catalyzer where the hydrazine coming in is decomposed exothermally. There is an electrical resistance heating system and additional installation in the combustion chamber and in the valve.

4.3 Energy _supp_ly_ 4. 31'Requirements .

The primary sources based on solar cells carried a special .control system ("Maximum Power Point Tracking" = MPPT) whTch'is used to exploit the output power in an optimum way. Shadow times



Tank volume: Fuel Propellant gas


7.4 Liters 4.7 kg hydrazine ,/•/ Nitrogen

Number of engines
Maximum operational pressure Minimum operational pressure Thrust range per engine: Possible velocity change •

42 ata 14 ata 1.86 kp (42 ata),

0.77 kp (14 ata)
80 m/sec for 125 kg satellite mass 3-0 Watts 1.5 Watts

Heating cone valve Combustion chamber

(1/3 of the revolution time) must be bridged by means of a chargeable battery system. . .. The secondary energy for the electrical users must be made available in the form of direct voltage, of 28 V± 5/6.and 16 V±2JL 4.32 Functional description

Figure 14 shows the block diagram of the energy supply system which satifies the requirements mentipned. It is characterized by two parallel energy paths. - Solar,generator - direct, converter - load - Solar generator, - charge control - battery system - Discharge control - load


The energy flow in these two branches is determined by means of a "higher level control". The MPPT control s-ystem is the most important component of this device. With it, it is possible to draw the maximum power from the solar generator. ,,,The maximum power varies with temperature and irradiation conditions. In this way, it is possible to minimize the number of solar cells, which represents a substantial cost savings. The energy flow itself is characterized by two states: . • a) Consumer power < solar generator power.

In this case, the users are directly fed by the direct converter, and the output voltage is controlled by the overvoltage control system. The MPPT control circuit adjusts the input impedance of the charge control in such a way that there is a load matching between the total load and the solar generator. In this way the entire excess energy is directed to the battery system.. b) Consumer power > solar generator power

In this case, the charge controller is blocked during the sun phase and the input impedance of the direct converter is adjusted based on power. The entire solar generator power then flows to the users. The missing power is taken from the battery system using the discharge controller, and the output voltage is controlled by the undervoltage control system..




- Solar generator - 1300 1 ft cm n/p solar cells, 2 x 2 cm output .power over temperature: 60-80 W Weight: 1.3 kg (without structure) ' '

- Direct converter
Output power: 40 W, efficiency: 0.93 - Charge controller Input power: 80 W, efficiency 0.93 - Discharge controller Output power: 40 W, efficiency 0.91* - 16 V converter Output power: 11 W, efficiency: 0.91 - Ag-Zn battery: 22 cells Capacity: 10 Ah, weight: 5.^5 kg - Ni-Cd battery: 29 cells + 1 couloumeter cell Capacity: 3 Ah, weight: 6.95 kg

The same holds true in the shade except that in this case the solar generator and the charge controller do-'not operate. The four direct voltage converters adapt the varying voltage levels. The direct converter and charge controller operate according to the "step-up" principle. The discharge controller and the 16JV^converter use the "step-down" principles. The battery system consists of a Ag-Zn and Ni-Cd battery. The state of charging is monitored by the .battery logic. The battery connected with the system is easily selected autonomously by the battery logic. Of course, it is possible to intervene here using radio commands.. Finally, we would like to make a few special features of this energy supply system:


"Maximum Power Point Tracker" (MPPT) Up to now, such a control system has only been used' once in a satellite in the United States. The MPPT used in the AEROS and .' -' which operates according to the "Characteristic principle" (Dornier Patent) is remarkably simple and accurate. The corresponding test results and flight results support this statement. Rechargeable silver-zinc battery. There is an unusual degree of rechargeability in this battery compared with other missions. The battery is primarily used dur ing the acquisition phase, but it could also be used as a "stand-by redundancy" system for the cyclically Ni-Cd battery.

4.. 4

Tel_ec_ornmuni_ca_ti^on s_ystem_


Telecommunication system processes analogue and digital data from experiments and operational using the PCM method. It is used to receive the ground commands corresponding to the tone digital command system. • The structure of the telecommunication system is shown in /57 Figure 15. The telemetry encoder processes the data of the experiments and from the operational surveillance during the measurement orbit. Part of the scientific data is first intermediately stored in buffer storage units, in order to smooth the discontinuous and high data rate of the experiments' mass spectrometer and counter' voltage analyzer. The data processing and the control of the data interrogation from experiments 'are performed according to four possible programs (four possible formats). The synchronization of the data frame with the spin required


for certain measurement modes of the MS and the GSA based on the ion sensor pulse is a task assigned to the time clock. This device also contains the on board clock, revolution" counter and orbit counter.

The digital control is performed in such a way that the phase comparison between the ion sensor pulse and the data frame pulse is carried out. Phase deviations are transformed into the corresponding bit rate changes, in order to correct the phase, displacement. . . Because of the fact that the bit rate is not constant, the tape velocity of the tape storage units is also synchronized to the bit rate in order to avoid disturbances of the storage rates. Because of the dynamic behavior of the tape storage units, the control behavior for spin synchronization is also designed according to the properties of the tape storage unit. The frequency jumps during the control are limited to 0.3% in absolute frequency range — starting with an average value of ± 15?. As from the Figure 15, only one data format is produced in the telemetry encoder,, which is used for real time transmission as well as for storage in.the tape storage units. Since two tape storage units are provided, not only does redundancy appear but there is also the possibility of bridging conditions when there is unfavorable coverage by ground contact. In this case, there is an increased storage capacity. The recording-to-transmission ratio of the tape storage units, is 1:25. ' The high frequency transmission system makes it possible to simultaneously transmit RT and TT data. Als'o it is possible to transmit RT data alone. The telemetry encoder considered as a data producing unit, is only turned on during the measurement orbit


During the measurement orbit, the I -a data from the encoder are simul- . taneously stored on the tape storage unit and they, are transmitted to the ground as real time data using HS. 'In .addition, if necessary, it is possible to play out the redundant device RT and TT q (1) Q transmission during ground contact Telemetry 6 '-H •H AJ transmitter M 0} during the measurement orbit in • a. a> <u; »-i x a, addition to recording on one of the w o, tape storage units. During the o; idling orbit, it is possible to • o; <U OKI' turn on the encoder in order to f '_!._. Command. . . .. perform housekeeping monitoring Figure 15. Block diagram for functions. In the case where telecommunications. there is simultaneous RT and.TT e data transmission, (RT = 512 bps, TT = 12,800 bps) both signals are phase modulated in the transmitter on to the same HF carrier (137-29 MHz) after suitable filtering.. By filtering with low pass filters, the frequency spectrum of the RT data has an upper limit of 2 kHZ in order to avoid cross talk into the TT spectrum. t No additional uncoupling filters are necessary. Because of the increased ;b~Tt rate during taped data transmission, the transmitter HF power is increased from 150 mW to 1.5 ¥ by adding a power stagej considering the level balance of the data transmission. In the command link, the command decoder was modified from AZUR. The threshold, the number of correct required "execute" words (Tone-Digital-Command-System) and the decoder logic were' changed.- The command length has proven itself well in orbit.


The command signals which are not directly routed on are transformed in the command distributor into commands for controlling the addressed devices. The command distributor contains program generators and devices for the' delayed execution of. commands. Also it can adjust the time duration of ..these .commands. These-so-called delayed commands are required for arbitrary attitude maneuvers which have to be.carried out at points along the orbit where the required magnetic conditions exist but where there is no contact with the ground. 5. Ground system and operation.

The German ground system is used for monitoring and operating the AEROS. (See contribution of M. Gass in this issue). Only the trajectory measurement over the entire mission and the monitoring during the acquisition phase (n) were assigned to NASA. When there is contact with the ground station, the full magnetic tape is played in about 4 minutes. As a minimum requirement, about 30$ of all! earth revolutions should be measured. This amounts to 5 measurement orbits per day. A monitoring program is used for status analysis of the satellite systems and for error in identification in real time during -the satellite passes. This program provides the operations engineers of the GSOC rapid decision aids. It is also described in more detail in this issue (contribution of E. Velten).


REFERENCES 1. 2. Project Documentation of the System Operation AEROS. Special Issue "AEROS, German Research Satellite" .of the Newspaper Dornier-Post, November, 1972.

3. Gass, M.

The Scientific Mission of Research Satellites.

AEROS, DFVLR-Nachrichten, 7, 1972. .4. . Gluitz, K. J. The German Aeronomy Satellite AEROS — ' Design Characteristics. Plug Revue 11/1972. 5. 6. Trogus, W. AEROS-Acquisition Phase — Dornier-Post 1/73 (to appear)

Summary of the Sequence,

Leiss, F. Successful Acquisition Phase of the Aeronomy . Satellite AEROS with Active Magnetic Attitude Control. Dornier-Post 1/73 (to appear). Schneider, E. Development of Fuel-Filling Installation and Check-Out Systems for the Satellite Project TD-1A and AEROS. RFF, Vol. 17, H. 1 1973. Borucki, L., V. Lehmann and W. J. C. Muller. Backward Scattering of Desorbed Gas Molecules from Space Vehicles. RFF, Vol. 16,. H 4, 1972. Gunther, R. D. Measurement Phase Optimization for the Research Satellite AEROS. RFF, Vol. 16, H 4, 1972.




Translated for National Aeronautics and Space Administration under contract No. NASw 2483, by SCITRAN, P. 0. Box 5456, Santa Barbara, California, 93108


STANDARD TITLE PACE I. Report No. 2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Cotolog No. 5. Report Dote 6. Performing Orgonizotion Code

NASA TT F-15,104
4. Till* ond Subtitle

7 . Author(s) • . . .

6. Performing Orgonizotion Report No. 10. Work Unit No. 11. Controct or Gront No.

U. Picker, E. Bachor, P. Soppa and W. Trogus

•:•'• I

I 9.

Per forming Orgonizotion Nome ond Address -* r SCITRAN .

13. Type of Report ond Period Covered

Jlox 5456
Santa Barbara CA_ Q11 Oft
12. Sponsoring Agency Nome ond Address

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Washington, D.C. 20546

IS. Supplementary Note*

Translation of: "Der deutsche Aeronomiesatellit AEROS." Raumfahrtforschung, No. 2, 1973, pp. 49-57.






The German research satellite AEROS is described in this paper. After summarizing the scientific payload a description of the mission follows.. This leads to the basic requirements for the technical concept and the subsystems of the spacecraft. A brief .description of the most important subsystems, is/ given. , ;-.. ,. . ."'.'' • •*, '

17. K.y Words (Selected by Author(t))

16. Distribution Statement

Unclassified - Unlimited

19. Security Classif. (of this report)

20. Security Classif. (of this page)

21. No. of Page*

22. Price