3567. Crew Transfer Options for Servicing of Geostationary Satellites


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Jeffrey Cerro: 3567. Crew Transfer Options for Servicing of Geostationary Satellites. 2012.



In 2011, NASA and DARPA undertook a study to examine capabilities and system architecture options which could be used to provide manned servicing of satellites in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO). The study focused on understanding the generic nature of the problem and examining technology requirements, it was not for the purpose of proposing or justifying particular solutions. A portion of this study focused on assessing possible capabilities to efficiently transfer crew between Earth, Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and GEO satellite servicing locations. This report summarizes the crew transfer aspects of manned GEO satellite servicing. Direct placement of crew via capsule vehicles was compared to concepts of operation which divided crew transfer into multiple legs, first between earth and LEO and second between LEO and GEO. In space maneuvering via purely propulsive means was compared to in-space maneuvering which utilized aerobraking maneuvers for return to LEO from GEO. LEO waypoint locations such as equatorial, Kennedy Space Center, and International Space Station inclinations were compared. A discussion of operational concepts is followed by a discussion of appropriate areas for technology development.


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