Innovative Approach Enabled the Retirement of TDRS-1 Compliant with NASA Orbital Debris Requirements
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- The first Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-1) was deactivated on June 27th 2010 following more than 26 years of operation. The end-of-mission (EOM) operations were developed to address the stringent requirements of NPR 8715.6: NASA Procedural Requirements for Limiting Orbital Debris, which consists of three key items: 1) removal from the geosynchronous arc; 2) depletion of the remaining propellant; and 3) passivation of all sources of energy storage or generation . The EOM approach minimized risks while accomplishing these goals. Raising TDRS-1 over 350 km above geosynchronous was accomplished via proven station change operations. Depleting propellant was the most challenging task, requiring over 20 hours of thruster on-time accumulated within schedule, orbit, and spacecraft subsystem constraints. The attitude configuration and operational procedures, including the unique final passivation method, were thoroughly analyzed and simulated prior to the start of operations. The complete EOM campaign lasted 21 days. The TDRS-1 EOM campaign demonstrated that pre-NPR 8715.6 satellite designs can be made to comply and that lessons learned could be applied to other satellite designs. The significant TDRS-1 effort demonstrates a commitment by NASA to responsible orbital debris management in compliance with international standards.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20110012816.
2011 IEEE Aerospace Conference; 5-12 Mar. 2011; Big Sky, MT; United States.
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