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Engineering Subsystems Analysis of Adaptive Small Satellites

Ekpo, Sunday (2019) Engineering Subsystems Analysis of Adaptive Small Satellites. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

The current point-based satellite electronic subsystem engineering design process is insufficient to address the dynamic operations and post-mission reuse of small satellites. Also, space systems and missions require an adaptive architecture(s) that can withstand the radiation-prone flight environment and respond to in-situ environmental changes using onboard resources while maintaining optimal performance. This enormous conceptual design variables space/task of highly adaptive small satellite (HASS) system can be too large to explore, study, analyse and qualify. This research involved a parametric electronic subsystem engineering design process and methodology development for the production of sustainable capability-based small satellites. Consequently, an adaptive multifunctional architecture with five levels of in-orbit spacecraft customisations that eliminate subsystem boundaries at the system level is presented. Additive manufacturing methods are favoured to fabricate the proposed adaptive multifunctional monolithic structures. The initial system engineering analyses reveal that the HASS system has mass-, cost- and power-savings over the conventional small satellite implementation. An adaptive small satellite link performance improvement satisfying a less than 2 dB link margin loss for a 0.1 dB in-band noise figure ripple has been established. Moreover, a power budget model for HASSs that ensures a reliable solar array design and eliminates undue equipment oversizing has been developed. An adaptive broadband beamformer that can improve the satellite link margin has been designed. Also, an estimating relationship has been developed and practically validated for the operational times analysis of small satellite subsystems. The reported novel findings promise to enable capability-based, adaptive, cost-effective, reliable, multifunctional, broadband and optimal-performing space systems with recourse to post-mission re-applications.

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