Rapid Constellation Deployment from the UK

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C. Loghry et al. (2018), JBIS, 71, pp.410-415

Refcode: 2018.71.410
Keywords: CubeSats, Constellation, OMV, Propulsive Adapter, Rideshare, UKSA

The growing number of small launch vehicles, including ones being planned to be launched from the United Kingdom, will lower the cost of space access in the coming years but challenges remain in utilizing these for small payloads particularly Cubesat. Many of these challenges can be met through the use of a propulsive rideshare adapter or Small Launch Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (SL -OMV). The SL -OMV is a low mass and low cost propulsive adapter that can be used to distribute Cubesat payloads with different orbital parameters than the primary payload or each Cubesat with a different orbital destination. This is important for both Rideshare launches but single mission dedicated cluster launches that are useful across commercial, civil, and military space applications. The SL -OMV is designed specifically for these small launchers including vehicles as part of the UK Space Agency (UKSA) Spaceflight Programme initiative to have domestic launch capability by the 2020s. The SL -OMV can be used on either vertical or horizontal launch configurations for vehicles having 150 kg capability or greater. As part of the program a unit will be developed and produced in the UK for the inaugural launch of the vertical launch option. This will demonstrate that capability in addition to placing six different CubeSats in various orbits. As the SL-OMV is adaptable to a wide-range of launch applications this can be useful for US and European launches as new spaceports come online in particular in the United Kingdom.

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