The design concept determines the markets for the Air Launch system:
Deployment and replenishment of global LEO communications satellite constellations;
Orbiting Earth monitoring satellites (remote sensing, emergency situation control);
Deployment and replenishment of LEO navigation satellite constellations;
Insertion of small
and medium class spacecraft into LEO, MEO, high elliptical and escape orbits for scientific use.
A new Fine Sun Sensor (FSS) has been designed for use in spacecraft attitude determination and autonomous navigation systems. The FSS produces digital signals proportional to the deviation of the direction to the center of the Sun from the frame axis of the device. The FSS signals enable the control equipment to form commands to correct the satellite’s attitude.
An Earth Horizon Sensor (EHS) of a new generation is being developed for spacecraft attitude determination and autonomous navigation systems. The
EHS produces digital signals proportional to the deviation of the direction to the center of the Earth from the frame axis of the device.
Most existing devices for this purpose make use of mechanical scanners to obtain infrared Earth images. The moving mechanical parts result in a short lifetime, high weight, and considerable power consumption of the device. Besides, the moving mechanical parts create rotational momentum, which may influence the attitude of small satellites.
A small group of devices make use of electronic scanning to obtain infrared Earth images. The core of such devices is an original radiation detector, which has to be deeply cooled and thermally stabilized. This results in a high weight and considerable power consumption.