GRAVITY-GRADIENT STABILIZATION RESULTS FROM THE DODGE SATELLITE IN 1967.
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV SILVER SPRING MD APPLIED PHYSICS LAB
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The DODGE Satellite was launched into a 7 degrees, near-synchronous orbit on July 1, 1967. Residual spin was removed in 12 days by artificial magnetic hysteresis damping. The four booms of the X configuration were deployed to achieve gravity capture. A sample-and-hold technique was used to damp librations by reacting with the earths magnetic field. Pitch and roll damped to 20 degree peaks in 9 days. Efforts to obtain better stabilization with the torsion-wire damper-boom system were unsuccessful. Subsequent stabilization with magnetic damping showed one period of exceptionally good results with pitch and roll peaks of only 4 degrees. The satellite tumbled on November 16-17, possibly due to a meteoroid of the Leonid shower. TV cameras of 22 degree and 60 degree fields have provided attitude data. A color filter system in the 22 degree camera has allowed the first color pictures of the full earth image. Author
- Unmanned Spacecraft