NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

San Marco-D/L



The primary purpose of the San Marco-D/L Spacecraft was to explore the relationship between solar activity and thermosphere-ionosphere phenomena. The spacecraft had a planned lifetime of one year. The science investigations used the following five flight sensors: a Drag Balance Instrument (DBI) for determining neutral density, a Wind and Temperature Spectrometer (WATI), an Ion Velocity Instrument (IVI), an Airglow-Solar Spectrometer (ASSI), and an Electric Field Meter (EFI). The satellite was a 96.5 cm-diameter sphere with four 48 cm canted monopole telemetry antennas and three orthogonal pairs of electric field probe sensors (one pair oriented along the spacecraft spin axis). An internal structural cylinder (26 cm diameter) extends slightly through the sphere and was coincident with the satellite spin axis. The power supply consisted of a solar-cell array split into two sections, two rechargeable NiCd batteries, and associated circuitry. The satellite attitude data were provided by a triaxial magnetometer, a horizon sensor, a digital sun sensor, and a star tracker for calibration. A magnetic torquing system was used to control spin rate and spacecraft attitude. The spacecraft reentered on schedule on December 6, 1988. All instruments operated as planned, except WATI which failed to respond to commands after 20 days (fuse failure). The spacecraft performed nominally throughout its lifetime. Final data were acquired at 150 Km during re-entry.

Alternate Names

  • 19013
  • SanMarco-DL

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1988-03-25
Launch Vehicle: Scout
Launch Site: San Marco Platform, Kenya
Mass: 273 kg

Funding Agencies

  • Centro Ricerche Aerospaziali, Italy (Italy)
  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


  • Communications
  • Space Physics
  • Solar Physics
  • Earth Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. Dieter K. Bilitza



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. M. DiruscioGeneral ContactUniversita degli Studi di Roma
Dr. Nelson W. SpencerProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Mr. Ronald E. AdkinsProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Other Sources of San Marco D/L Data/Information

San Marco D/L Project page

[] NASA Logo -