OPERATIONAL ANALYSIS OF TIME-OPTIMAL MANEUVERING FOR IMAGING SPACECRAFT
Ross, I. Michael
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There is currently a gap in translating the performance enhancements made possible by new maneuver strategies into operational benefits derived for spacecraft missions. In the context of imaging satellites, slew time is one of the key factors that influences the economic performance of image collection operations. To analyze the operational benefits associated with adopting time-optimal maneuver strategies to reduce slew times, this thesis studies two different operational scenarios based on the Singapore-developed X-SAT imaging spacecraft. The analysis is facilitated through the use of AGIs Systems Tool Kit (STK) software. An Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)-based framework is proposed to evaluate, from a business analytic point of view, the impact of incorporating time-optimal maneuvers as part of X-SAT imaging operations. The business case analysis is focused on assessing key performance indicators such as image collection volume, collected image resolution and economic revenue. The findings presented herein suggest that time-optimal maneuvers can enhance the value of imaging operations and provide additional revenue for satellite operators. Moreover, the proposed AHP hierarchy model was found to provide a convenient and methodical means for quantifying the operational advantages and economic Return on Investment (ROI) that can be obtained when incorporating new maneuver strategies into spacecraft operations.
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