Modelling of picosatellite constellation-based network and effects on quality of service
Scott, Alan D.
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The military applications for miniature, low-cost satellites that could be quickly launched to provide ad-hoc tactical networks have risen in recent years. Currently, the smallest practical variant of these miniaturized satellites is known as the picosatellite. In order to evaluate the performance of the picosatellite constellation-based network, a model that can accurately simulate the orbital physics of the constellation as well as the satellite-to-ground communication links and data traffic is necessary. The focus of this thesis was to build such a model using commercially available software and assess the effects of orbital geometries on the performance of the picosatellite constellation-based network. The research revealed that orbital planes that were inclined near the latitude of the area of interest could provide better coverage. In addition, when the satellites were spaced farther apart in the orbital plane the constellation access times were also extended. This was at a cost, however, as the link quality could be compromised. The model that was created for this research could be integrated into the Naval Postgraduate School Tactical Network Topology testbed environment to study the extension of tactical networks to orbit and allow the modelling of picosatellite architectures applied to different maritime and inland missions.
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