Aditya L1 spacecraft may require a trajectory correction maneuver in the coming days to achieve L1 orbit. technology news

ISRO’s Aditya L1 spacecraftScientists have indicated that, which was placed on a trajectory to reach the Sun-Earth Lagrangian (L1) point on Tuesday, is likely to require a Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM) due to anomalies in the coming days, Scientists have indicated.

Indian Space Research Organization scientists are waiting for data to arrive at ground stations on Thursday morning, 48 hours after the Trans-Lagrangian Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) maneuver at 2.30 am on September 19, to assess the trajectory achieved. Aditya will be necessary to determine the timing and amount of L1 and trajectory corrections.

“A trajectory correction maneuver will be performed. We will have to decide when this will be done after assessing the information after 48 hours, said M Sankaran, director of the UR Rao Space Centre.

Trajectory correction maneuver or trim maneuver is part of the planning of all deep space missions where the spacecraft has to travel a long distance after entering a trajectory that will take the spacecraft into the desired orbit around the Moon, Mars and the L1 point. Which is 1.5 lakh km. On the way to the Sun in case of Aditya L1 mission.

Aditya to be L1 launched into an orbit Around L1 after about 110 days. To achieve this, the spacecraft must travel on a planned trajectory.

ISRO sources said there were some discrepancies in data on orbit determination and orientation of antennas at ground stations, which would result in the need for a trajectory correction maneuver for the Aditya L1 mission in the coming days. Sources said that scientists in the mission are doubting the need for TCM.

On Tuesday, ISRO had said that the Aditya-L1 mission “has taken off towards the Sun-Earth L1 point!”

“The Trans-Lagrangian Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) maneuver was successfully executed. The spacecraft is now on a trajectory that will take it to the Sun-Earth L1 point. It will be placed in orbit around L1 through a process after approximately 110 days. This is the fifth consecutive time that ISRO has successfully moved an object towards another celestial body or location in space,” the space agency had said.

ISRO ground stations in Mauritius, Bengaluru and Port Blair reportedly tracked the satellite during the maneuvers.

Following the Trans Lagrangian Point 1 insertion maneuver, scientists have discovered that there may be trajectory errors that can be corrected for the accurate determination of the current trajectory and the trajectory required for injection into an orbit around the L1 point after a 110-day journey toward the L1 point. Correction will be required after accurate determination. point.

Sources said inconsistencies in the orientation of antennas at ground stations in India and the absence of support from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) ground stations, which provide highly accurate data on spacecraft orientation, may have led to errors in orbit-raising maneuvers. Can cause. Aditya out on L1 spacecraft.

“This has been part of the mission plans since Chandrayaan 1. For each orbit-enhancement device, we see which orbit was realized. If something has to be done, we have to do it as soon as possible and we cannot wait much longer,” said a former senior ISRO scientist.

“When you’re going to beach (a spacecraft) for a long period of time we have to make sure we’re not making any mistakes. After class skills, we wait for a day or two for class scheduling. Here it is a long-term coastline and if small deviations happen there will be impacts in a month or three months and so we have to fix it now,” said the former ISRO scientist.

“We have to assess how much improvement is required. When we do small maneuvers we get to know the quantity and as long as we do it for that quantity it is fine. There might be something missing, it will have to be completed so that there is no problem. This is usually a very small manoeuvre,” said the senior scientist.

“It is possible that there are problems with the ground antenna. When we talk about orbit prediction it is the anticipation of the orbit in which the motion is taking place and the angles it will take from the antenna as it continues to move to follow the satellite. The second is the range that is measured by sending signals and receiving them back at the ground station – that is the distance,” he said.

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“Distance and angle will give you data about how the orbit is going – if there is an error in any one of those it will show up in inaccurate information. “This requires some type of calibration to be performed for the antenna to be nominal,” he said.

According to the former scientist, it is important to collect orbit determination point data from more than one ground system for good results in deep space missions – including foreign ground stations like JPL.

“The trim maneuver is usually a small maneuver – if you delay it it will be a big maneuver because if you want to do it after a month or more the penalty is higher and that’s why we have to be 100 percent sure.” Must be that what we are doing is right. Small tricks can cause problems if we are not 100 percent sure about what we are doing, the former scientist said.

First published: 21-09-2023 at 09:12 IST

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