Session

Technical Session VII: Spacecraft Systems

SSC10-VII-1.pdf (959 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

The cost and schedule advantages small satellites have over larger legacy systems have been studied for years, but there has been very little experimentation performed to determine whether small satellites can actually deliver any of the capabilities of a larger spacecraft. To date, a desired operational capability has not been fully realized by a scalable satellite design. Advances in sensor technology have led to significant reductions in size, weight, and power (SWaP) presenting an opportunity to exploit the evolution of space operations by using small satellites to perform specific missions. This paper describes a methodology developed to map a specific set of defined large space vehicle capabilities to a constellation of small satellites. The process includes an analysis of user needs, capability gaps, and examines the utility of advanced sensors. This leads to determining: number of satellites; orbit geometry; sensor configurations; and the satellite bus. Space weather has been identified as an excellent mission to exploit the potential of small satellites4. Advances in micro-electronics have produced sensors with reduced SWaP, making them a viable test subject. Therefore, mapping capabilities to a small satellite, or constellation of small satellites, could provide solutions and affordable options to the adverse challenges facing space operations. The methodology developed here maps the National Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Space Environmental Sensor Suite (SESS) to a constellation of small satellites intended to perform this operational mission.

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Aug 11th, 8:15 AM

Satellite Capabilities Mapping – Utilizing Small Satellites

The cost and schedule advantages small satellites have over larger legacy systems have been studied for years, but there has been very little experimentation performed to determine whether small satellites can actually deliver any of the capabilities of a larger spacecraft. To date, a desired operational capability has not been fully realized by a scalable satellite design. Advances in sensor technology have led to significant reductions in size, weight, and power (SWaP) presenting an opportunity to exploit the evolution of space operations by using small satellites to perform specific missions. This paper describes a methodology developed to map a specific set of defined large space vehicle capabilities to a constellation of small satellites. The process includes an analysis of user needs, capability gaps, and examines the utility of advanced sensors. This leads to determining: number of satellites; orbit geometry; sensor configurations; and the satellite bus. Space weather has been identified as an excellent mission to exploit the potential of small satellites4. Advances in micro-electronics have produced sensors with reduced SWaP, making them a viable test subject. Therefore, mapping capabilities to a small satellite, or constellation of small satellites, could provide solutions and affordable options to the adverse challenges facing space operations. The methodology developed here maps the National Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Space Environmental Sensor Suite (SESS) to a constellation of small satellites intended to perform this operational mission.