In-Orbit Testing of the “MACEK” Microaccelerometer
After a model of the upper atmosphere total density (Sehnal 1990a) was established at the Astronomical Institute in Ondfejov and after it was succesfully used to develop an analytical higher order theory of the satellite motion within the atmosphere (Sehnal 1990b), it has been decided to construct a high-sensitivity device to identify better the details of the density distribution and, as well, to determine the small radiative forces (albedo, infrared). Thus, we realized a cubic microaccelerometer and tested it in a laboratory. After we got satisfactory results, we placed the device on board of a space capsule which was launched as one of the Russian RESOURCE F-15 (1992–33A) vehicles into an elliptical orbit on June 23.33, and made a soft landing on July 9.0. The experiment got an acronym “ESMAC” and provided us with good data which fulfilled our expectations. The goals of the experiment were as follows: a) To test the overall in-orbit performance of the instrument, b) To test the reliability of the hardware and its technological level, to reveal possible drawbacks and insufficiences of the construction, c) To check the data acquisition system, d) To check the measured data towards the expected ones, e) To test the methods of data reduction and to make the preliminary interpretation. In the following, we present the most important outcomes which we were able to extract from all the information up till now (September 1992).
KeywordsAstronomical Institute Satellite Motion Atmospheric Drag Soft Landing Preliminary Interpretation
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