Are there constellations of future communications mini-satellites?

A satellite constellation is a group of artificial satellites, working together. In the coming decades, companies like SpaceX, and Samsung plan to launch several satellite constellations. These satellites allow users to enjoy a more reliable connection, independent of their global location. Most satellites in this artificial console are expected to be small. In comparison, most of these satellites weigh less than 500 kg. Scientists use devices such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to ensure that satellites can work together so that humans do not have to repair or control them frequently.

Researchers at the University of Bologna, Italy explain in a recent peer-reviewed paper how small satellites can be applied to space exploration as well as trends in the field to capture information. inform other scientists and engineers of the technical challenges that need to be overcome.

An example of a small “nano” satellite, called EST-Cube-1. It is small enough to hold in your hand. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

They begin their review by explaining the history of satellite constellation technology. Two satellite companies, GlobalStar and Iridium, were the first to launch satellite constellations. Even though these satellites provided reliable communications services, they were too expensive to launch and maintain. So the projects were folded .. It was not until the idea of ​​miniaturization was introduced that the idea of ​​a global connection with a satellite could be explored.

The paper’s authors explained that, from the late 90s up to 2015, only a few companies such as Viasat, Samsung, and Boeing have proposed a global connection using satellite constellations. However, just in the last few years, more than 90 companies have shown interest in satellite constellations. In fact, they say that 96% of these satellite constellates are used for Earth observation and global connectivity, and only 4% for space observation.

Researchers can now predict the number of satellite shows per year by reference to Starlink project data. Starlink is a project started by SpaceX, in an effort to provide high-speed internet connectivity to rural and urban communities that are independent of their geographical location on earth. The company is trying to complete its project by launching a series of smaller satellites by the end of 2024.

Like SpaceX, other companies are now revealing their satellite constel projects. The authors estimated that the majority of these projects will be launched by 2022 in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and MEO (Middle Earth Orbit). LEO is the orbit around the earth with an altitude of 2,000 km (1,242 mi) or less above sea level. In contrast, MEO is the orbit around the earth that ranges from an altitude of 2,000 (1,242 mi) to 35,000 km (21,700 mi) above sea level. By 2024, an additional 8,000 satellites are expected to join the company of currently changing satellites.

To coordinate such a large number of satellites, large ground infrastructures will be required along with improved artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor and control the satellites. From the proposed projects it is likely that approximately 50% of constellations will consist of satellites as small as watermelons (nano) or grass-mowers (miniatures), while some are as large as pickup truck (medium) or house (large). Size matters. Companies prefer smaller satellites, as they offer more flexibility and lower cost compared to larger satellites.

Nano and miniature satellites are among the most common in constellations, with the exception of those of unknown size. The researchers did not have enough information about these satellites to classify them.

Before applying these major constellations, the paper’s authors urge the scientific community to consider a few pressing challenges first. First, because there will be many more in orbit than ever before, engineers need to devise ways to keep all of these satellites from colliding with each other. To eliminate such a problem, the author proposes the idea of ​​an automated system within a satellite to provide necessary orbital correction. Second, they propose an end-to-end IP-based communication strategy between satellites and receivers to prevent blockchain.

They also warn that dense orbit could affect ground-based astronomical observations and even future space missions. To alleviate such a problem, they are urging engineers to develop a precision automation system that detects satellite health and provides maneuvers needed to avoid accidents.

The launch of satellite constellations has been popular over the past two decades. Around 100 corporate bodies plan to launch and grow their businesses in a number of areas with the launch of a satellite constella, as these engineering and regulatory challenges are overcome.

141590check cookieAre there constellations of future communications mini-satellites? Satellite constellations are groups of satellites working together, rather than as single satellites, orbiting the Earth. Many countries and companies get into this game, but there are some engineering challenges.