CLIO pre-launch elements

From: Ted Molczan via Seesat-l <>
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:11:31 -0400
CLIO is a Lockheed Martin-built communications satellite (A-2100 bus), belonging to the U.S. Government. It is scheduled
for launch between 2014 Sep 16 21:44 UTC and Sep 17 00:10 UTC, from Cape Canaveral, aboard an Atlas V-401.

The official pre-launch information bears a strong superficial resemblance to that of PAN (09047A / 35815), which
operates in a GSO (geostationary orbit). I suspect that CLIO will do likewise.

Judging by the information in the press-kit, the launch trajectory appears to be some variant of the Extended Coast
type, which typically results in a highly elliptical parking orbit, in which the vehicle coasts for a period of up to
two hours, before manoeuvring to GTO (geosynchronous transfer orbit). The resulting orbit is lower in eccentricity and
inclination than that of the more common GTO, in which the manoeuvre to GTO occurs at the first descending node. This
reduces the delta-V required of the payload to enter GEO, which saves fuel, and extends its maximum useful life. The
spacecraft uses its own propulsion system to perform a series manoeuvres to reach GSO, typically within a few weeks
after launch. PAN reached GSO within about 10 days of launch.

Assuming launch on Sep 16 at 21:44 UTC, and a parking orbit similar to the one we determined for PAN, the following TLE
would be valid from about 22:02 UTC until the manoeuvre to the transfer orbit:

Parking orbit                                          176 X 21623 km
1 78401U          14259.98653000  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    05
2 78401  25.3510 143.5430 6206470 145.1850  95.2000  3.82400000    00

According to the press-kit, the manoeuvre to the transfer orbit will occur at 00:31:53 UTC (T+ 02h47m52.9s). I may
produce an estimated TLE later.

Ted Molczan

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Received on Mon Sep 15 2014 - 12:12:20 UTC

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