Researchers Maintain Satellite Constellations With The Help Of Logistics

Nowadays, megaconstellations (huge-scale communication satellite constellations) have been turning popular increasingly. OneWeb launched out the first lot of satellites in February 2019 for an original 650-satellite constellation, and SpaceX also rolled out in May 2019 the first lot of its 12,000-satellite constellation. Last week, Amazon also filed an appeal with the FCC for its 3,236-satellite projected satellite constellation. These satellite constellations are anticipated to be a major element by realizing the global satellite Internet service.

On the other hand, the unprecedently huge scale of these megaconstellations also conveys various hurdles, some of which are not well-explored and hidden. Scientists at Urbana-Champaign at the University of Illinois detected an essential hidden challenge about restoring the damaged satellites in megaconstellations and presented a unique fix with inventory control techniques.

“Maintaining these huge-scale megaconstellations professionally is far more complicated as compared to the conventional space systems. In fact, it has turned out to be more and more similar to a ground logistics issue that UPS or FedEx has been operating on. So we dealt this megaconstellation maintenance issue using the concept from ground logistics, which becomes not only interesting and unique but also very appropriate in this context” claimed assistant professor at University of Illinois in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Koki Ho, to the media in an interview.

On a related note, scientists at the University of New Hampshire Space Science Center discovered that space “speed bumps,” which can lower down the orbiting of satellites nearer to Earth, are more complicated than initially believed.

“We were aware that these satellites were hitting “upswellings,” or “speed bumps,” which cause them to drop or slow down in altitude,” claimed a physicist at UNH, Marc Lessard, to the media. “But on this mission we were capable of unlocking some of the mystery around why this takes place by finding that the bumps are much more structured and complicated.”