US 9,809,327 B2
Device for moving or removing artificial satellites
Luca Rossettini, Vicenza (IT); Giuseppe Jussef Tussiwand, Wasserburg am Inn (DE); Renato Panesi, Massa (IT); and Thomas Panozzo, Montrouge (FR)
Assigned to D-ORBIT S.R.L., Milan (IT)
Filed by D-ORBIT S.R.L., Milan (IT)
Filed on Nov. 30, 2016, as Appl. No. 15/364,896.
Application 15/364,896 is a continuation of application No. 14/232,869, previously published as PCT/EP2012/064123, filed on Jul. 18, 2012.
Claims priority of application No. MI2011A1332 (IT), filed on Jul. 18, 2011.
Prior Publication US 2017/0081047 A1, Mar. 23, 2017
Int. Cl. B64G 1/24 (2006.01); B64G 1/26 (2006.01); B64G 1/40 (2006.01); B64G 1/64 (2006.01); B64G 1/10 (2006.01)
CPC B64G 1/242 (2013.01) [B64G 1/10 (2013.01); B64G 1/26 (2013.01); B64G 1/40 (2013.01); B64G 1/403 (2013.01); B64G 1/64 (2013.01)] 15 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A method of controlled and safe removal of an artificial satellite from a mission orbit around a celestial body when the artificial satellite reaches an end of useful life or when the artificial satellite becomes faulty, the mission orbit being an orbit assigned to the artificial satellite for operations required during a stay thereof in space, the method comprising:
providing a moving/removing device that is autonomous and independent from the artificial satellite for removing the artificial satellite from the mission orbit, the moving/removing device comprising:
a control device for controlling the moving/removing device, the control device comprising an electronic board comprising microcontrollers, and the control device being independent of a control device of the artificial satellite; and
a propulsion device for providing thrust for removing the artificial satellite from the mission orbit, the propulsion device being independent of a propulsion device of the artificial satellite;
coupling the moving/removing device to the artificial satellite prior to launch via an adjustable mechanical connection between the moving/removing device and the artificial satellite, the adjustable mechanical connection being configured to be adjusted to mitigate misalignment of a thrust vector of the propulsion device with a center of gravity of a combination of the artificial satellite and the moving/removing device, and the artificial satellite being a single satellite;
wherein the moving/removing device is permanently coupled to the artificial satellite in a manner so as to be located external relative to the artificial satellite and protrude therefrom while remaining attached to the artificial satellite during operation at the mission orbit and while removing the artificial satellite from the mission orbit;
calculating a desired trajectory causing the artificial satellite to impact the celestial body and calculating a time to ignite the propulsion device to achieve the desired trajectory based on an actual orbit of the artificial satellite;
controlling the moving/removing device via the control device to ignite the propulsion device based on the calculated time to move the artificial satellite to impact the celestial body when the artificial satellite reaches an end of useful life or when the artificial satellite becomes faulty; and
adjusting the adjustable mechanical connection between the moving/removing device and the artificial satellite without employing a component of the artificial satellite to mitigate misalignment of the thrust vector of the propulsion device when the propulsion device is ignited.