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Radiation Belt Storm Probe Spacecraft and Impact of Environment on Spacecraft Design

AuthorKirby, Karen; Bushman, Stewart; Butler, Michael; Conde, Rich; Fretz, Kristen; Herrmann, Carl; Hill, Adrian; Maurer, Richard; Nichols, Richard; Ottman, Geffrey; Reid, Mark; Rogers, Gabe; Srinivasan, Dipak; Troll, John; Williams, Bruce;
KeywordsRBSP; Van Allen Probes
AbstractNASA\textquoterights Radiation Belt Storm Probe (RBSP) is an Earth-orbiting mission scheduled to launch in September 2012 and is the next science mission in NASA\textquoterights Living with a Star Program. The RBSP mission will investigate, characterize and understand the physical dynamics of the radiation belts, and the influence of the sun on the earth\textquoterights environment, by measuring particles, electric and magnetic fields and waves that comprise the geospace. The mission is composed of two identically instrumented spinning spacecraft in an elliptical orbit around earth from 600 km perigee to 30,000 km apogee at 10 degree inclination to provide full sampling of the Van Allen radiation belts. The twin spacecraft will follow slightly different orbits and will lap each other 4 times per year; this offers simultaneous measurements over a range of spacecraft separation distances. A description of the spacecraft environment is provided along with spacecraft and subsystem key characteristics and accommodations that protect sensitive spacecraft electronics and support operations in the harsh radiation belt environment.
Year of Publication2012
Number of Pages
Date Published03/2012