Experimental Astronomy

, Volume 20, Issue 1–3, pp 435–445 | Cite as

Distributed Space Segment for High Energy Astrophysics: Similarities And specificites



This paper analyses two height energy astrophysics missions, MAX and SIMBOL-X, which have been studied in CNES in the frame of a large formation flying study program. It is particularly interesting to notice that the scientific specifications of two different missions lead to the same engineering solutions for the whole mission aspects and then advocate for a similar space segment architecture and re-use of common elements, thus allowing potential cost reductions for a second mission.

In deed, the same level of data to download and a similar signal-to-noise ratio requirements leads to the same orbit and communications system, the same level of pointing precision and distance inter satellites lead to the same formation flying Guidance Navigation and Command (GNC) architecture. At the end, the same level of mass and thermal constraints leads to the same range of platform and the same propulsion systems and finally to the same launcher.


Formation flying: Height energy astrophysics missions MAX SIMBOL-X 


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  1. Rapport De Phase 0 Max, CNES/PASO study report, November 05Google Scholar
  2. Rapport De Phase 0 Simbol-X, CNES/PASO study report, November 05Google Scholar
  3. Related articles in the Gamma Wave 1st Int. Symposium on focusing telescopes in nuclear astrophysics, Bonifacio, France, September 12–15, 2005.Google Scholar
  4. Formation Flying for Astrophysics, SIMBOL-X: An X Ray Mission, Rodolphe Clédassou (CNES)Google Scholar
  5. MAX: Formation Flying For Nuclear Astrophysics, Paul Duchon (CNES)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNES Centre National d' Etudes SpatialesToulouse Cedex 9France

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