Space Autonomous Mission for Swarming and Geolocation with Nanosatellites (SAMSON) is a new satellite mission, led by the Technion (PI: P. Gurfil) and supported by the Israeli space industries. Adelis-SAMSON will include three nano-satellites, built based on the the CubeSat standard.
In order to better measure and model the position of geosynchronous satellites in space, we developed an autonomous robotic system to optically observe the satellite and determine its position on the sky. The satellite is imaged on a CCD camera through a telescope that is positioned is a closed building. The images are reduced automatically and the angular position of the satellite is found.
In this project the Hanbury-Brown and Twiss experiment is tested with the purpose of performing it in space. Compared to amplitude interferometry requiring 30 nanometer precision, the mechanical requirements here are not exacting, on the 3mm scale. A number of separate light collectors register single photons arriving from the same celestial object. The correlation of these photon streams, at a central station, allows measurement of the size of distant stars and galaxies.
In this project, various optical systems adjust on their own to approach the best image possible. In one realization, a telescope made of four non-contiguous segment mirrors, mimics a space telescope. Without a wave front sensor, the system optimizes itself by simulated annealing in hardware. In other active optics realizations, simpler telescopes are being adjusted by the same optimization scheme. Various approaches to stochastic optimizations are compared to more directional searches
Flight Algorithms for Disaggregated Space Architectures (FADER) is an ERC-funded research aimed at contributing to the engineering and scientific knowledge of disaggregated spacecraft architectures. Particularly, it is focused on the relative dynamics of the modules of these systems. The long-term relative dynamics of fractionated architectures are different from those of traditional formation flying satellites.