Study explores options that optimize profit in broadband satellite constellationsJune 06, 2018
Several large telecommunications companies have proposed plans to provide global broadband services by launching hundreds and even thousands of satellites into orbit. Although broadband for everyone sounds like a great idea, it also carries great financial risk, resulting in bankruptcy for some who've tried it. Recent research at the University of Illinois suggests a more cost-effective strategy using regional coverage and staged deployment.
"It's actually very easy to determine how many satellites you need to get global coverage. You can do the math by hand," said Koki Ho, assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at U of I. "But total global coverage isn't necessarily what a company wants or needs.
It might not be the best way for the company to maximize their profit. We looked at different ways to design a satellite constellation that first provides regional coverage and then can be expanded stage by stage, keeping areas with uncertain demand in consideration to maximize profit."
For the study, Ho and his graduate students, Hang Woon lee and Pauline Jakob, divided regions of the Earth into a grid, with each unit measuring 4 degrees latitude by 4 degrees longitude to calculate whether full coverage was being achieved.
"Satellites are continually moving in orbit so there isn't one satellite serving a specific unit," Ho explained. "One satellite might move out of the range and another one moves in. As the satellite remains in orbit, the orbit slowing decays and the satellite falls lower so we also calculated for the propulsion needed to return the satellite to its proper orbit and, when needed, to decommission it into outer space."
Ho said that broadband companies in the United States may be looking only at global coverage, but smaller countries, such as Japan, may want to start their business by serving only their own country and having success there before adding more countries or going global.
"There is a level of uncertainty in knowing what the next area of interest will be in the market, so we created a multi-staged plan," Ho said. "We started from zero, as if there were no satellites in space. The first stage, might just serve one country. The second stage could add Europe, India, or the 48 contiguous states in the U.S. However, the second stage will take advantage of the first stage and provide more coverage. All of the stages are optimized to minimize the launch and other costs and still provide full coverage to each area of interest."
The financial savings are substantial.
One example in the study compares two scenarios: an optimized two-stage deployment strategy with a global coverage constellation and one that deploys all of the satellites in one stage. The expected lifecycle cost for the optimal two-stage configuration is shown to be 28.9 percent and 19.5 percent less than the optimal global-coverage constellation for unique and same satellite design cases, respectively.
This research is supported by Advanced Technology R&D Center at Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.
University of Illinois College of Engineering
Related Satellite Articles:
Extremely heavy rain has recently fallen over Florida and the Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite looked at that some of that rainfall on June 7.
The first images from the Solar Ultraviolet Imager or SUVI instrument aboard NOAA's GOES-16 satellite have been successful, capturing a large coronal hole on Jan.
The European Union activated its Galileo satellite navigation system in December 2016.
Vaccination campaigns can improve prevention and control of disease of outbreaks in the developing world by using satellite images to capture short-term changes in population size.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) in late June decommissioned a 38-year-old communications satellite that for 21 years had helped to link NSF's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station with the outside world.
By combining satellite data and sophisticated machine learning, researchers have developed a technique to estimate household consumption and income.
A satellite whose components are not connected through electric cables but miniaturised radio modules: This innovation has earned two computer scientists from the University of Würzburg the first place in the INNOspace Masters competition.
Mule deer mothers are in sync with their environment, with reproduction patterns that closely match the cycles of plant growth in their habitat.
NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured an image of Tropical Depression 9 weakening in the Central Atlantic on Sept.
Researchers at University of La Rioja have developed a new method to eliminate artificial satellites in Highly Elliptical Orbits when they finish their mission.
Related Satellite Reading:
by Nick Lake (Author)
A teenage boy born in space makes his first trip to Earth in this engrossing sci-fi adventure for fans of The Martian from award-winning author Nick Lake.
He’s going to a place he’s never been before: home.
Moon 2 is a space station that orbits approximately 250 miles above Earth. It travels 17,500 miles an hour, making one full orbit every ninety minutes. It’s also the only home that fifteen-year-old Leo and two other teens have ever known.
Born and raised on Moon 2, Leo and the twins, Orion and Libra, are finally old... View Details
Satellite Basics for Everyone: An Illustrated Guide to Satellites for Non-Technical and Technical People
by C. Robert Welti (Author)
Satellite Basics for Everyone intends to stimulate a wide interest in engineering and science sorely needed to overcome our educational deficiencies to compete in the global economy. It offers a “laypeople” portal to the amazing world of satellites; indispensable to our everyday life and security. Something for everyone: come away with a level of new knowledge commensurate with your level of education to date.
Learn about satellites that affect us every day, how they work, and how we can place and keep them on orbit by integrating science, technology, engineering, art, and... View Details
by Lauren Emily Whalen (Author)
Carefree sixteen-year-old Levon and contemplative seventeen-year-old Harmony are best friends and family – his DJ dad and her yogi father have been in love for years, and they all live together in Chicago’s vibrant Boystown neighborhood. So what if the dads have been arguing more lately, Levon’s latest girlfriend just had a pregnancy scare, and two summers ago, Levon and Harmony’s relationship crossed a very important line? They don’t need anyone but each other – until one September afternoon when Levon returns home to a half-empty apartment. Harmony and her father... View Details
The Satellite Bible Atlas by William Schlegel (2013-05-03)
by William Schlegel (Author)
A new Bible atlas with 85 full-page color maps with biblical events marked on enhanced satellite imagery, accompanied by geographical and historical commentary. View Details
Spy Satellite Manual (Owners' Workshop Manual)
by David Baker (Author)
In 1954, three years before the launch of Sputnik 1, the world’s first satellite, top-secret discussions were held in the United States to plan the development of military spy satellites, designed to obtain detailed photography of the Soviet Union’s military strength, and its potential for waging nuclear war. This book takes a detailed look at the programmes which resulted from the clandestine decision in the US to build highly secret spy satellites in parallel with civilian space plans, revealing for the first time previously classified details of the design and layout of photographic... View Details
Satellite Communications Systems: Systems, Techniques and Technology
by Gerard Maral (Author), Michel Bousquet (Author), Zhili Sun (Editor)
Revisions to 5th Edition by: Zhili Sun, University of Surrey, UK
New and updated edition of this authoritative and comprehensive reference to the field of satellite communications engineering
Building on the success of previous editions, Satellite Communications Systems, Fifth Edition covers the entire field of satellite communications engineering from orbital mechanics to satellite design and launch, configuration and installation of earth stations, including the implementation of communications links and the set-up of the satellite network. This... View Details
Satellite: Innovation in Orbit (Contemporary Worlds)
by Doug Millard (Author)
Right now, above our heads—nearly imperceptible to us but hugely important to how we live—are thousands of man-made objects that we have sent into space. Ubiquitous but mysterious, satellites are the technological infrastructure of our globally connected world, helping us do everything from orient ourselves on a map to watch our favorite television shows. Yet we rarely ever think about them. In this book, Doug Millard pays overdue tribute to the stoic existence of the satellite, tracing its simultaneous pathways through the cold silence of space and the noisy turbulence of the past... View Details
by Dharma Raj Cheruku (Author)
Satellite Communication is a special technology in the field of Electronic Communication Systems. A Graduate engineering students with Electronics and Communication Engineering will find this book useful to understand the concepts of satellite communication. This book deals with the technology and gives an adequate treatment of the subject. Analysis and design of satellite communication equipment is also treated to the extent required for the engineering graduates. It is very useful reference for the candidates preparing for higher studies and competitive examinations. Mathematical... View Details
A New Breed Satellite Terrorism
by John Hall (Author)
You won't be able to stop reading once you pick up Dr. John Hall's terrifying account, A New Breed: Satellite Terrorism in America. Dr. Hall's narration is based on true-life events and what you'll find will open your eyes to a completely new form of terrorism. Dr. Hall has treated numerous patients who have complained about voices in their heads, eventually being driven to a form of serious psychosis. In his book, he describes his relationship with his significant other, Mallory, a young, attractive woman with a bright future. Upon beginning a new profession, Mallory was suddenly struck down... View Details
by Timothy Pratt (Author), Charles W. Bostian (Author), Jeremy E. Allnutt (Author)
Includes chapters on orbital mechanics, spacecraft construction, satellite-path radio wave propagation, modulation techniques, multiple access, and a detailed analysis of the communications link. View Details