The primary purpose of the research satellites San Marco-D/M and -D/L was to explore the relationship between solar activity and meteorological phenomena, with emphasis on lower atmospheric winds and thermosphere-ionosphere phenomena from low (San Marco-D/L) and multistationary (San Marco-D/M) orbits. Two Scout launch vehicles were to inject both spacecraft into mutually predetermined orbits. Both spacecraft have planned mission lifetimes of 1.5 years.
San Marco-D/M was to bei built around a single experiment. The purpose of this spacecraft was to monitor cloud cover and ozone content. With one-third the period of an earth-synchronous or stationary satellite, observations may be repeated three times per day.
The general appearance of SM-D/M was to be that of two cylinders with a common axis, one with a diameter of 70 cm and height of 40 cm, with the second cylinder extending from the end of the first for an additional 42 cm and with a diameter of about 32 cm. The surface of the larger cylinder was to be covered with 1296 solar cells that feed two rechargeable battery packs. The spacecraft was to be spin stabilized along the axis of its cylindrical structure, and scanning operation for the instrument was to be dependent upon the satellite spin.
San Marco-D/M was cancelled, while San Marco-D/L was successfully launched.
|Type / Application:||Atmospheric research|
|Power:||Solar cells, batteries|
|Orbit:||420 km × 27400 km × 2.9°|
|San Marco D/M||-||cancelled||SM||Scout-G1|