What is it about?
For a satellite constellation with many satellites, the maintenance strategy becomes very important. Particularly, for the recently-developed mega-scale constellations like Starlink or OneWeb, the conventional on-orbit spare strategies would result in an excessively large number of spares; thus, we need a new way to optimally allocate spares to meet the performance/reliability requirement with the minimum cost. This paper develops a computationally efficient method to design the maintenance strategy for a large-scale satellite constellation by drawing inspiration from terrestrial logistics and inventory control methods and by leveraging orbital mechanics effectively.
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Why is it important?
This paper addresses an important question of spare strategy for mega-scale constellations, a growing trend in the industry as can be seen in examples like Starlink or OneWeb. The unprecedented mega-scale constellations would encounter a new challenge of efficient and effective spare strategies because of the lack of scalability of the conventional spare strategies. This paper provides a theory and methods needed to resolve this critical and timely challenge in a scalable way by integrating terrestrial logistics techniques with orbital mechanics.
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This page is a summary of: Optimal Satellite Constellation Spare Strategy Using Multi-Echelon Inventory Control, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, September 2019, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), DOI: 10.2514/1.a34387.
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