The main goal of the Trajectory subsystem is the study of the orbit of the satellite and the research of the space environment for a given orbit. The space environment includes regions with high fluxes of high-energy particles which can threaten the electronics and the mission. Furthermore, selecting the correct orbit is a major necessity both at mission and at a system level. The orbit must be such that there is enough time to run the scientific experiment while also keeping the orbital lifetime at a minimum, in order to avoid the creation of space debris.
All of the above is achievable using theoretical concepts and simulation software. For the orbit, our team has a strong background in both classical and orbital mechanics in order to determine the correct orbit. After that and with the assistance of specialized simulation software (GMAT, STELA, STK) we simulate the orbit of our nanosatellite. We track the satellite througout the orbit and extract the expected orbital lifetime of the satellite with high accuracy. Using additional software (DRAMA/MASTER) we calculate the probability of collision with a secondary object, either a spacecraft or space debris.
Concerning the radiation environment, we study the radiation environment at the satellite’s altitude. Our main focus is the Inner Van Allen belt, which extends above the South Atlantic Ocean (forming what is called the South Atlantic Anomaly), where charged particles are trapped due to the fluxuation of the magnetic field. To simulate the radiation environment, we use SPENVIS and OMERE, trying to extract results about the dose received by the cells and the electronic components of the satellite during the mission.