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Perrotta G.,SpaceSys | Marzano F.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Tognolatti P.,University of LAquila | Mugnai A.,CNR Institute of atmospheric Sciences and Climate
International Journal of Remote Sensing | Year: 2011

The article reports on the study results of the NanoROLD (Nano Radio Optical Lightning Detector) project, which was proposed for inclusion in action line 3 (Climatic aspects of clouds and precipitation) of the AeroClouds Programme planned around the year 2004 by the MIUR (Ministry of Education, University and Research). After a short review of the AeroClouds objectives and the lightning geolocation requirements, the article reviews the location accuracies achievable with both single and multiple satellite system configurations, and compares the two approaches from performance and complexity viewpoints. The feasibility of radio frequency (RF) detection of electrical discharges is dealt with first, to demonstrate the feasibility of a high accuracy lightning geolocation mission by means of microsatellites, while the assessment of optical instruments is deferred to a later study phase. The final comparison is then restricted to two candidates: a threesatellite formation exploiting time-of-arrival (TOA) principles; and a single satellite implementing a three-arm radiofrequency interferometer. The expected greater costs of a three-satellite constellation in formation flight are offset by the greater complexity and criticality of the interferometer system based on a single satellite and by its poorer performance in terms of lightning geolocation accuracy. However, for an experimental, fund-limited programme, a demonstration mission based on a single satellite could be more appropriate and an initial baseline design is also provided in the article. © 2011 Taylor & Francis. Source

Perrotta G.,SpaceSys | Stipa M.,SpaceSys | Silvi D.,SpaceSys | Coltellacci S.,SpaceSys | And 10 more authors.
Experimental Astronomy | Year: 2011

The Mission MAGIA (Missione Altimetrica Geofisica GeochImica lunAre) was proposed in the framework of the "Bando per Piccole Missioni" of ASI (Italian Space Agency) in 2007. The mission was selected for a phase A study by ASI on February 7th 2008. The tight budget allocation, combined with quite ambitious scientific objectives, set challenging requirements for the satellite design. The paper gives a fast overview of the payloads complement and of the mission-constrained design drivers, including cost minimization, risk reduction, and AIT flexibility. The spacecraft architecture is then outlined, along with an overview of the key subsystems and trade-offs. Some details are given of a Moon gravitometric experiment based on a mother-daughter satellite configuration with the daughter being a subsatellite released from the MAGIA satellite and intended to circle the Moon at a very low altitude. Budgets are appended at the end of the paper showing the key study results. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

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