Light up the night

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neilsox

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Energia Polar City Illuminator home
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Class: Earth. Type: Environmental. Destination: Sun Synchronous Orbit. Nation: Russia. Manufacturer: Korolev.
The Energia launch vehicle could be used to launch 100 orbital reflectors to provide light to cities located in the polar regions. These reflectors would be placed in sun synchronous orbits at 1700 km altitude / 103 deg inclination. Each satellite would be 240 m in diameter and have a mass of 5 to 6 metric tons. Each satellite would have a ten year life and be usable 8 hours daily, and illuminate a 17 km diameter circular area on the earth's surface. The concept was tested on two Znamya 25 m diameter reflectors deployed from Progress M-15 and M-40 spacecraft in 1993 and 1998. Deployment problems prevented either test from being successful.

The satellite's equipment module would include solar panels, a KAR gyroscopic pointing system, and a laser unit to scan and control the form of the reflector. Pressure from the solar wind would be used to make orbital corrections.

The illuminators would be orbited 10 to 12 at a time. A single Energia launch would put a 69 metric ton payload into a 450 km / 103 deg orbit. A solar electric engine interorbital tug would take the satellites to the higher operational orbit and then deploy them.

Typical orbit: 1700 km altitude sun synchronous orbit. Span: 240.00 m (780.00 ft). Mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb).
~My estimate is each satellite is about half as bright as a full moon when both are high in the sky. 100 of them would mean rarely two lighting the same city significantly and simultainiously. At unfavorable angles they will be no brighter than the brighter stars.
Since the solar synchronous orbit is semipolar, all the cities of Earth can be lighted briefly and rarely, if the satellites are aimed appropriately. My guess is the 17 mile diameter illuminated spot is really a longer ellipse, the edge of which fades gradually to negligible light level, because the satellite is imperfectly flat. Neil~
 
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MeteorWayne

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Just great. Light up the night and destroy astronomy. What a great idea.... :twisted: :evil: :x
 
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crazyeddie

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neilsox":lr4n2585 said:
Energia Polar City Illuminator home
topic index
Class: Earth. Type: Environmental. Destination: Sun Synchronous Orbit. Nation: Russia. Manufacturer: Korolev.
The Energia launch vehicle could be used to launch 100 orbital reflectors to provide light to cities located in the polar regions. These reflectors would be placed in sun synchronous orbits at 1700 km altitude / 103 deg inclination. Each satellite would be 240 m in diameter and have a mass of 5 to 6 metric tons. Each satellite would have a ten year life and be usable 8 hours daily, and illuminate a 17 km diameter circular area on the earth's surface. The concept was tested on two Znamya 25 m diameter reflectors deployed from Progress M-15 and M-40 spacecraft in 1993 and 1998. Deployment problems prevented either test from being successful.
Thank god the tests weren't successful. I can't imagine anything more horrible than having the night sky ruined any more than it already is, and adding to our global warming problems by flooding the polar regions with radiant energy!
 
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neilsox

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Astronomy in cities is already poor. Typically, ten miles from the city center, the satellite will deliver no more light than a first magnitude star, if the article inferences are correct. It will appear much like an Indium flare, or the space station, I think, except inside the city where it may be as bright as the moon. Neil
 
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