Launch of CNES Small Satellites Lessons Learned and Perspectives

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P. W. Bousquet; J. Dejoie; V. Dubourg; A. Gerbert-Gaillard; J. M. Desorbeau (2007), JBIS, 60, 249-256

Refcode: 2007.60.249
Keywords: Small satellites, French satellites history, launch systems, piggy-back launch

After an historical overview of the launches of all small French satellites since 1965, including Ariane 4 auxiliary launches in the 1990's, this paper focuses on the various launchers used for the Myriade and PROTEUS spacecrafts presently in orbit. We reflect on the lessons learned from this extensive range of launch experiences, which include piggy-back configurations on Ariane 4 and 5, Russian launches and US launches. Our launcher choices for coming missions will then be elaborated, with a strong emphasis on European solutions, in accordance with the decisions taken in Berlin by ESA's Council of Ministers. Finally, we will discuss the emergence of formation flying missions, and small LEO constellations, which might influence launch systems in the future.

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