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Alouette 1

NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1962-049A

Description

Alouette 1 was a small ionospheric observatory instrumented with an ionospheric sounder, a VLF receiver, an energetic particle detector, and a cosmic noise experiment. Extended from the satellite shell were two dipole antennas (45.7 m and 22.8 m long, respectively) which were shared by three of the experiments on the spacecraft. The satellite was spin-stabilized at about 1.4 rpm after antenna extension.

After about 500 days, the spin slowed more than had been expected, to about 0.6 rpm when satellite spin-stabilization failed. It is believed that the satellite gradually progressed toward a gravity gradient stabilization with the longer antenna pointing earthward. Attitude information was deduced only from a single magnetometer and temperature measurements on the upper and lower heat shields. Attitude determination could have been in error by as much as 10 degrees.

There was no tape recorder, so data were available only from the vicinity of telemetry stations. Telemetry stations were located to provide primary data coverage near the 80 degree W meridian and in areas near Hawaii, Singapore, Australia, Europe, and Central Africa. Initially, data were recorded for about six hours per day.

In September 1972, spacecraft operations were terminated. A data restoration effort began in the late nineties and successfully saved a considerable portion of the high-resolution data before the telemetry tapes were discarded. More information about this effort and access to the data on CDAWeb be found at

http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/space/isis/isis-status.html

Alternate Names

  • Alouette-A
  • 00424

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1962-09-29
Launch Vehicle: Thrust Augmented Thor-Agena B
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 145.7 kg

Funding Agencies

  • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)
  • Defence Research Board-Defence Research Telecommunications Establishme (Canada)

Disciplines

  • Astronomy
  • Solar Physics
  • Space Physics

Additional Information

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

 

Personnel

NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. J. H. WhittekerGeneral ContactDepartment of Communications/Communications Research Centre 
Dr. C. A. FranklinProject EngineerDepartment of Communications/Communications Research Centre 
Dr. Erwin R. SchmerlingProgram ScientistNASA Headquarters 
Dr. John H. ChapmanProgram ScientistDepartment of Communications/Communications Research Centre 
Mr. John E. JacksonProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center 
Mr. R. Keith BrownProject ManagerDefence Research Board - Defence Research Telecommuncations Establish 
Mr. J. S. JohnsonProgram ManagerDepartment of Communications/Communications Research Centre 
Mr. Frank W. GaetanoProgram ManagerNASA Headquarters 
Dr. Eldon S. WarrenProject ScientistDepartment of Communications/Communications Research Centre 
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