Re: ISS Orientation

From: Antonin Vitek (
Date: Mon Dec 04 2000 - 20:43:35 PST

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    Standard co-ordinate system for ISS is defined as follows (from minus to
    plus direction):
    X axis: from Zvezda to Unity and PMA-2
    Z axis: from ITS-P6 to ITS-Z1 to Unity to PMA-3 (ie. from zenith to
    Y axis: completes a right-hand co-ordinate system.
    Normal orientation is called X-POP ie. X-axis perpendicular to orbital
    plane, with +Z direction (ie. PMA-3) facing toward Earth. This
    orientation imparts minimum rotational momentum to ISS. During some
    dynamic opserations (dickings with STS, propulsive maneuvers using
    Zvezda engines) X-VV orientation is used: X-axis in velocity vector.
    Therefore the axes of PVAs will be oriented mainly in direction of
    flight. This in my opinion has an advantage in creating minimum
    aerodyamic farces aganist solar panels.
    Mgr. Antonin Vitek, CSc.
    Office: Main Library, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
    Home: Kytin 127, CZ-25210 Mnisek p. B., Czech Republic
    Phone: +420 305 593865 - Coord.: 14.2194 deg E, 49.8488 deg N, 442 m ASL
    My satellite home page:
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