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HelioSwarm (MIDEX 11)

HelioSwarm (MIDEX 11) [Univ. of New Hampshire]

The HelioSwarm mission is a constellation or swarm of nine spacecraft that will capture the first multiscale in-space measurements of fluctuations in the magnetic field and motions of the solar wind known as solar wind turbulence. The Suns outermost atmospheric layer, the heliosphere, encompasses an enormous region of the solar system. Solar winds spread through the heliosphere, and their interactions with planetary magnetospheres and disruptions such as coronal mass ejections affect their turbulence.

Studying solar wind turbulence across large areas requires plasma measurements taken simultaneously from different points in space. HelioSwarm consists of one hub spacecraft and eight co-orbiting small satellites that range in distance from each other and the hub spacecraft. The hub spacecraft will maintain radio contact with each small satellite. All radio contact between the swarm and Earth will be conducted through the hub spacecraft and the NASA Deep Space Network of spacecraft communication antennas.

Launching in 2028, one hub spacecraft and eight small satellites will move in coordinated orbits as a swarm using a highly elliptical, lunar resonant earth-orbit.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Research
Operator:
Contractors: University of New Hampshire (payloads); Northrop Grumman (hub spacecraft); Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) (bus)
Equipment:
Configuration: X-SAT Venus (Nodes)
Propulsion:
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime:
Mass:
Orbit:
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
HelioSwarm Hub (MIDEX 11A) - 2028 with HelioSwarm Node 1, ..., 8
HelioSwarm Node 1 (MIDEX 11B) - 2028 with HelioSwarm Hub, HelioSwarm Node 1, ..., 8
HelioSwarm Node 2 (MIDEX 11C) - 2028 with HelioSwarm Hub, HelioSwarm Node 1, ..., 8
HelioSwarm Node 3 (MIDEX 11D) - 2028 with HelioSwarm Hub, HelioSwarm Node 1, ..., 8
HelioSwarm Node 4 (MIDEX 11E) - 2028 with HelioSwarm Hub, HelioSwarm Node 1, ..., 8
HelioSwarm Node 5 (MIDEX 11F) - 2028 with HelioSwarm Hub, HelioSwarm Node 1, ..., 8
HelioSwarm Node 6 (MIDEX 11G) - 2028 with HelioSwarm Hub, HelioSwarm Node 1, ..., 8
HelioSwarm Node 7 (MIDEX 11H) - 2028 with HelioSwarm Hub, HelioSwarm Node 1, ..., 8
HelioSwarm Node 8 (MIDEX 11I) - 2028 with HelioSwarm Hub, HelioSwarm Node 1, ..., 8

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