The Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment (ANDE)
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC NAVAL CENTER FOR SPACE TECHNOLOGY
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The Naval Research Laboratory NRL has developed a satellite suite, the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment ANDE, to improve precision orbit determination and prediction by monitoring total atmospheric density between 300 and 400 km. The ANDE Risk Reduction ANDERR flight was deployed into orbit by the space shuttle Discovery on 21 December 2006. The primary ANDERR mission objective, a test of the shuttle deployment mechanism for the follow-on ANDE flight scheduled for mid-2009, was successful. The primary ANDE mission objectives are to measure the variability of atmospheric density driven by solar and geomagnetic forcings for improved orbit determination and to provide a test object for the U.S. space surveillance network SSN. A joint effort between NRLs Space Science Division and its Naval Center for Space Technology to routinely process and analyze the ANDE data has led to improved orbit determination and prediction using an atmospheric model correction method. The ANDE data provide a valuable tool for correcting deficiencies in atmospheric models and have led to advancements in miniature sensor technology. These advancements are pivotal for multipoint in situ space weather sensing.
- Atmospheric Physics
- Unmanned Spacecraft