Presenter Information

Erik Kulu, NewSpace IndexFollow

Session

Technical Session 12: Constellation Missions

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

Large satellite constellations are becoming reality. Starlink has launched over 1600 spacecraft in 2 years since the launch of the first batch, Planet has launched over 450 in total, OneWeb over 200 and counting. Every month new constellation projects are announced, some for novel applications.

First part of the paper focuses on the industry survey of 251 commercial satellite constellations. Statistical overview of applications, form factors, statuses, manufacturers, founding years is presented including early stage and cancelled projects. Large number of commercial entities have launched at least one demonstrator satellite, but operational constellations have been much slower to follow than follow. One reason could be that funding is raised in stages and the sustainability of most business models remains to be proven.

Second half of the paper examines constellations by selected applications and discusses trends in applications, satellite masses, orbits and manufacturers over the past 5 years. Earliest applications challenged by NewSpace were AIS, Earth Observation, Internet of Things (IoT) and Broadband Internet. Recent years have seen diversification into majority of applications that have been planned or performed by government or military satellites and beyond.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

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Aug 11th, 2:00 PM

Satellite Constellations - 2021 Industry Survey and Trends

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Large satellite constellations are becoming reality. Starlink has launched over 1600 spacecraft in 2 years since the launch of the first batch, Planet has launched over 450 in total, OneWeb over 200 and counting. Every month new constellation projects are announced, some for novel applications.

First part of the paper focuses on the industry survey of 251 commercial satellite constellations. Statistical overview of applications, form factors, statuses, manufacturers, founding years is presented including early stage and cancelled projects. Large number of commercial entities have launched at least one demonstrator satellite, but operational constellations have been much slower to follow than follow. One reason could be that funding is raised in stages and the sustainability of most business models remains to be proven.

Second half of the paper examines constellations by selected applications and discusses trends in applications, satellite masses, orbits and manufacturers over the past 5 years. Earliest applications challenged by NewSpace were AIS, Earth Observation, Internet of Things (IoT) and Broadband Internet. Recent years have seen diversification into majority of applications that have been planned or performed by government or military satellites and beyond.