ARGOS
ARGOS experiment.png
Artist's rendition of ARGOS
Mission typeSpace environment
OperatorAFRL
NRL
STP
COSPAR ID1999-008A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.25634
Mission duration3 years (planned)
4.5 years (achieved)
Spacecraft properties
BusARGOS
ManufacturerBoeing
Launch mass2,450 kg (5,400 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date23 February 1999, 10:29:55 UTC
RocketDelta II 7920-10
Launch siteVandenberg, SLC-2W
ContractorBoeing
End of mission
Last contact31 July 2003
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit[1]
RegimeSun-synchronous orbit
Perigee altitude828 km (514 mi)
Apogee altitude842 km (523 mi)
Inclination98.78°
Period101.47 minutes
ARGOS Mission Patch.jpeg

ARGOS mission patch  

The Advanced Research and Global Observation Satellite (ARGOS) was launched on 23 February 1999 carrying nine payloads for research and development missions by nine separate researchers. The mission terminated on 31 July 2003.

ARGOS was launched from SLC-2W, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, atop a Boeing Delta II (7920-10) launch vehicle. Construction of the spacecraft bus and integration of the satellite's payloads was accomplished by Boeing at their Seal Beach, California facility. The program was funded and led by the DoD's Space Test Program (STP) as mission P91-1 (the first STP mission contract awarded in 1991).

The US$220 million mission was operated by Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center's Test and Evaluation Directorate (then Space Development and Test Wing, now SMC's Advanced Systems and Development Directorate)[2] from their RDT&E Support Complex (RSC) at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. ARGOS was the first mission operated 100% from the new state-of-the-art, commercial-off-the-shelf Kirtland facility; all previous SMC satellite missions had been operated in total or at least in part from the preceding center at Onizuka Air Force Station, California.

Mission

Colonel Tom Mead, program manager of the DoD Space Test Program, said of the satellite:

The ARGOS satellite has provided a tremendous payoff in critical technologies such as imaging, satellite propulsion and space-based computing. These areas are becomed [sic?] important as more and more applications of space are developed.[citation needed]

The ARGOS had a design life of three years and was part of the DoD Space Test Program (STP), which supports the Air Force, Army, Navy, BMDO (now MDA), NASA, and various international space agencies. The nine ARGOS payloads, addressing more than 30 research objectives, conducted upper atmospheric observations and technology demonstrations. These included sensor technology for the International Space Station (ISS), as well as three high-priority ultraviolet imaging experiments and an X-ray sensor. The remaining experiments investigate ion propulsion, gas ionization physics, plume detection capabilities, and orbital debris. As part of DOD STP, ARGOS served the need to fly Department of Defense payloads that cannot be flown on the Space Shuttle or aboard small launch vehicles due to complexity, size, mission duration, or other constraints. The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command, Air Force Research Laboratory, and Office of Naval Research have provided payloads for the ARGOS mission.[3]

Per the Kirtland AFB mission control center, "As of 1500 Zulu on 31 July 2003, support of all ARGOS operations has been terminated. Decaying inertial reference units has led to a tumble of the aircraft. As a result, communications with the spacecraft have been lost".

The satellite was designed to operate in a Sun-synchronous orbit and many of the payloads required unique Sun-angles, and so the orbit was creatively designed by Robert Cleave to operate without the need for an on-board propulsion subsystem, which was later identified as a key winning strategy.

Payloads

Will Hampton, Boeing director of U.S. Air Force Delta Programs, wrote:

ARGOS will be the largest and most sophisticated research and development satellite Boeing has ever orbited for the Air Force[citation needed]

Experiment (DOD Selective Experiments Review Board Year-Rank/Sponsor):

Bus characteristics

P91-1 ARGOS[8] Mission Book.

Orbit characteristics

Liftoff postponements

After about six weeks stacked on the launch pad, and as long for mission crews to report only to replan activities for another night and slightly different time, the rocket and its satellites blasted away from Earth's pull.[9]

Secondary satellites launched with ARGOS

As the launching of the ARGOS satellite did not require the full payload capacity of its launching rocket, Delta II, there was room left in the payload-mass-budget of the launch vehicle and thus two secondary satellites were added to, and launched on, the same rocket on 23 February 1999. NASA sponsored the secondary satellites, Ørsted (SSC #25635)[25] and SUNSAT (SSC #25636),[26] which were the first satellites of their respective countries, Denmark and South Africa.

See also

References

  1. ^ Peat, Chris (5 December 2013). "ARGOS - Orbit". Heavens Above. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  2. ^ "SMC stands up new Advanced Systems and Development Directorate", 24 November 2014 Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ Turner, J. B.; Agardy, F. J.; "The Advanced Research and Global Observation Satellite Program (ARGOS)", Space Programs and Technologies Conference, Huntsville, Alabama, September 27–29, 1994, AIAA-1994-4580.
  4. ^ Lai, S.; Häggström, I.; Wannberg, G.; Westman, A.; Cooke, D.; Wright, L.; Groves, K.; and Pellinen-Wannberg, A.; "A Critical Ionization Velocity Experiment on the ARGOS Satellite", 45th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, Nevada, January 8–11, 2007, AIAA-2007-279
  5. ^ Press Release USAF, "NEW SPACE PROPULSION SYSTEM FIRED", March 17, 1999. Archived November 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  6. ^ Sutton, A. M.; Bromaghim, D. R.; Johnson, L. K.; "Electric Propulsion Space Experiment (ESEX) Flight Qualification and Operations", Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 31st, San Diego, California, July 10–12, 1995, AIAA-1995-2503
  7. ^ NSSDC Master Catalog Search, NSSDC ID: 1999-008A-02 Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ ARGOS Satellite Serves as Platform for Leading-Edge Technology and Research, 1999.
  9. ^ D. Seitz, Operations Lead, RDT&E Support Complex
  10. ^ Boeing News Release: Delta II Launch of ARGOS Satellite Scrubbed, 15 January 1999
  11. ^ Boeing News Release: Launch of ARGOS Spacecraft Postponed, 18 January 1999
  12. ^ Boeing News Release: Delta II Launch of ARGOS Satellite Rescheduled for Wednesday, 19 January 1999
  13. ^ Boeing News Release: Delta II Launch of ARGOS Satellite Postponed, 20 January 1999
  14. ^ Boeing News Release: Weather Postpones Delta II Launch of ARGOS Satellite, 21 January 1999
  15. ^ Boeing News Release: Upper Level Winds Postpone Delta II Launch of ARGOS Satellite, 22 January 1999
  16. ^ Boeing News Release: Upper Level Winds Postpone Delta II Launch of ARGOS Satellite, 27 January 1999
  17. ^ Delta II Launch Stopped Due to Engine Ignition Failure, 28 January 1999
  18. ^ Boeing News Release: Next Delta II Launch Attempt of ARGOS Scheduled for Sunday, 4 February 1999
  19. ^ Team Memory: Frank and Earnest panel #70170 ran days after this attempt. We contacted the publisher and asked if they heard of our launch attempt; they said no, they just thought the word usage was funny. The Kirtland Air Force Base team purchased a copy of the panel with name ARGOS replacing NASA and gave them as momentoes to the Kirtland AFB launch and early orbit team
  20. ^ Boeing News Release: Delta II Launch of ARGOS Satellite Delayed, 7 February 1999
  21. ^ Boeing News Release: Winds Postpone Delta II Launch of ARGOS Satellite, 12 February 1999
  22. ^ Boeing News Release: Delta II Launch of ARGOS Satellite Delayed, 13 February 1999[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ Boeing News Release: Delta II Launch of ARGOS Satellite Scheduled for Tuesday, 19 February 1999
  24. ^ Boeing News Release: Boeing Delta II Boosts Triple Satellite Payload, 23 February 1999
  25. ^ NSSDC Master Catalog Search, NSSDC/COSPAR ID: 1999-008B Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  26. ^ NSSDC Master Catalog Search, NSSDC/COSPAR ID: 1999-008C Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.