Geostationary collocation: case studies for optimal maneuvers
Duque, Rafael A.
Racoosin, Charles M.
Bursch, Daniel W.
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Satellite collocation is not a new topic in the space community. The geostationary belt is considered a natural resource, and as time goes by, the physical spaces for geostationary satellites will run out. The Brazilian Air Force plans to collocate its satellite with another two satellites, and this thesis seeks the most efficient method in terms of fuel optimization and operational aspects. A Systems Tool Kit (STK) software simulation was developed that included various longitude collocation schemes for the Brazilian scenario. The STK simulations showed that a relatively low eccentricity can be achieved with a sun-pointing perigee strategy but that fuel utilization was fairly the same in all of the scenarios. The key takeaway is the operational aspect that relates to how often a maneuver is performed regarding thrusters utilization, minimizing failure risks, and operations workload. To make a solid decision on which strategy to take, other factors must be taken into account and will be commented upon in this work.
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