One of many precision formation flying Proba-3 satellites as seen from the opposite throughout floor testing. The pair will fly in orbit relative to 1 one other right down to millimetre scale precision, however so as to do that should maintain steady monitor of one another in each daylight and darkness.
To attain this, Proba-3 combines vision-based detection, as examined right here, with radio frequency hyperlinks, satellite tv for pc navigation and laser ranging.
The Visible-Based mostly Sensor will probably be used when the satellites are nearer than 250 m to one another. LEDs aboard Proba-3’s Coronagraph satellite tv for pc – seen on this animation – will probably be detected by a set of cameras on the opposite Occulter satellite tv for pc, showing as pattens of sunshine at nighttime.
Lastly, for optimum precision, the Occulter will shine a laser at a retro-reflector mounted on the Coronagraph satellite tv for pc.
Proba-3 will reveal formation flying within the context of a large-scale science experiment. The 2 satellites will collectively kind a 144-m lengthy photo voltaic coronagraph to check the Solar’s faint corona nearer to the photo voltaic rim than has ever earlier than been achieved. The goal is to function as if the pair are a part of a single large spacecraft in orbit.
The Proba-3 satellites are at present present process testing at IABG in Germany forward of a deliberate launch from India subsequent 12 months.