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Satellite Technology: Principles and Applications, 3rd Edition by Anil Maini, Varsha Agrawal

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4Satellite Hardware

In the two previous chapters, i.e. Chapters 2 and 3, the fundamental issues relating to the operational principle of satellites, the dynamics of the satellite orbits, the launch procedures and various in-orbit operations have been addressed. Having studied at length how a satellite functions and before getting on to application-related aspects of it, in the present chapter a closer look will be taken at what a typical satellite comprises, irrespective of its intended application. Different subsystems making up a typical satellite will be briefly discussed and issues like the major function performed by each one of these subsystems along with a brief consideration of their operational aspects, will be addressed.

4.1 Satellite Subsystems

Irrespective of the intended application, be it a communications satellite or a weather forecasting satellite or even a remote sensing satellite, different subsystems comprising a typical satellite include the following:

  1. Mechanical structure
  2. Propulsion subsystem
  3. Thermal control subsystem
  4. Power supply subsystem
  5. Telemetry, tracking and command (TT&C) subsystem
  6. Attitude and orbit control subsystem
  7. Payload subsystem
  8. Antenna subsystem
  1. The mechanical structural subsystem provides the framework for mounting other sub-systems of the satellite and also an interface between the satellite and the launch vehicle.
  2. The propulsion subsystemis used to provide the thrusts required to impart the necessary velocity changes to execute all ...

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