The evolution of application satellites has hinged on the development of more and more sophisticated spacecraft buses or platforms. The development of three-axis body stabilized platforms have allowed the deployment of more capable and much higher gain communications antennas, high resolution remote sensing and meteorological sensors, and more precise navigational payloads. The most important development in spacecraft buses has been the development of precisely oriented body stabilized platforms that allow the deployment of very high powered solar arrays and very accurate pointing of high-gain antennas and sensor systems. Other challenges have included developing lower mass and structurally strong spacecraft bodies, improved and longer life thrusters, better performance power systems with greater density of charge, and improved thermal control systems. This chapter explores the development of the spacecraft bus and their technologies. The following chapters discuss tracking, telemetry, and command, reliability testing; and the adaptability of essential multipurpose platforms to different applications.

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Keywords Battery systems, Carbon/epoxy composites, Despun platforms, Fuel cells, Fuel slosh, Heat dissipation, Heat pipes, Inertial wheels, Isotope power systems, Momentum wheels, Nuclear propulsion, Orbital control, Power systems, Quantum dot technology, Redundancy, Reliability and lifetime testing, Remote sensing sensors, Solar arrays, Solar cells, Spacecraft platforms, Spacecraft structures, Thermal control, Three-axis body stabilization, Thrusters
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Kaya, T, & Pelton, J.N. (Joseph N.). (2013). Overview of the spacecraft bus. In Handbook of Satellite Applications (pp. 1045–1065). doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-7671-0_87