OPTIMIZATION OF CUBESAT GROUND STATIONS FOR INCREASED SATELLITE NUMBERS
Writt, Andrea J.
Newman, James H.
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This thesis contributes to the growing body of research concerned with the issue of the increasing numbers of government small satellites (SmallSats) and the limited number of ground stations available to support these missions. To understand this “many satellite, few ground station” problem, a Monte Carlo simulation is used to identify the point at which a single ground station is expected to be overwhelmed, specifically looking at the case of the Mobile CubeSat Command and Control (MC3) ground station at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). Ground station saturation is defined in terms of data downlink requirements and the increasing number of conflicting passes as the number of SmallSats grows. An assessment of when one ground station becomes insufficient for a growing number of SmallSats is the result. The MATLAB software tools created to generate these scenarios are generic and can be used to extend this work to investigate other scenarios of SmallSats and multiple ground stations.
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