On-Orbit Thermal Performance and Model Correlation of the Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer 1999-01-1939
The Fast Auroral SnapshoT explorer (FAST) spacecraft, the second of NASA’s Small Explorer (SMEX) series of scientific satellites, was launched on August 21, 1996 by a Pegasus XL launch vehicle. Due to slightly higher than expected temperatures during early orbit operations, an extensive thermal model correlation effort was under taken to understand and characterize FAST’s thermal performance in order to properly orient the spacecraft’s attitude during its mission. FAST’s thermal design and the on-orbit thermal model correlation and resolution are described. Finally, the correlated model’s predictions are compared with nine months of flight data.