X-ray Timing Experiment (XTE): Spacecraft
The XTE spacecraft, being developed by GSFC's Engineering Directorate
(Code 700), contains an impressive number of innovations compared to
the Explorer Platform that was originally going to serve the XTE
mission. Among them:
- A 1 Gbit solid state memory, instead of tape recorders, for storing
telemetry. An important feature is that this allows a variable
- A communication system that includes two high gain antennae,
allowing an almost continuous telemetry stream using TDRSS's
Multiple Access mode.
- CCSDS packet-based communications.
- Two modern CCD star trackers that allow simultaneous tracking of up
to five stars per star tracker.
- A high-powered Spacecraft Data System requiring far less work
to be done by the Flight Operations Team.
The spacecraft will be launched on a Delta rocket, into a circular orbit
with a altitude of 600 km and an inclination of 23 degrees.
Return to the image