Exploring the potential of new orbits for future space services

Story from
http://erc.europa.eu/projects-and-results/erc-stories/exploring-potential-new-orbits-future-space-services

Exploring the potential of new orbits for future space services

Space exploration may one day reveal clues to the origin of the universe and life on Earth. In the meantime, scientific advances in the field have supported “space services” for everyday life such as weather forecasts and satellite navigation on our phones. With his ERC grant, space engineer Prof. Colin McInnes explored the mathematics of new families of orbits around the Earth for spacecraft, from micro-satellites to large solar sails. The objective was to map these orbits and to uncover potential applications for new space technologies in fields as diverse as space science, Earth observation and telecommunications.
Credit: Charlotte Bewick – Swarm of ‘smart dust’ micro-sensors in Earth orbit for space physics applications.

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