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Article

Wu Xiande, Li Hui and Sun Zhaowei

The micro‐satellite clusters have been discussed for several years, however, there is not a common framework about its software, and various researches distributed at…

Abstract

Purpose

The micro‐satellite clusters have been discussed for several years, however, there is not a common framework about its software, and various researches distributed at different domains. In order to conduct the future work well, the purpose of this paper is to systematically describe micro‐satellite clusters' characteristics, clusters software model, and present a distributed testbed to shorten test process, and minimize the development cost.

Design/methodology/approach

The cluster characteristics and model is summarized through analyzing the past satellite cluster programs. Then the ground test system is designed to shorten micro‐satellite's development period, improve its reliability.

Findings

The clusters' characteristics are discussed, such as coverage, scalability, fault tolerance, low cost, etc. The clusters' data flow and on‐board software architecture are presented according to properties of clusters. Finally, the distributed testbed that focuses on future on‐board software and hardware technologies that aim to rapid design, build, integration, test, deployment, and operation of the future micro‐satellite is designed.

Originality/value

The presentation of software architecture of cluster member can improve the micro‐satellite's development, and the distributed testbed can improve the ground test efficiency, especially, when the micro‐satellite quantity is big.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 81 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

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Article

Takaya Inamori, Nobutada Sako and Shinichi Nakasuka

This paper aims to present an attitude determination and control system for a nano‐astrometry satellite which requires precise angular rate control. Focus of the research…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an attitude determination and control system for a nano‐astrometry satellite which requires precise angular rate control. Focus of the research is methods to achieve the requirement.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to obtain astrometry data, the satellite attitude should be controlled to an accuracy of 0.05°. Furthermore, attitude spin rate must be controlled to an accuracy of 4×10−7 rad/s during observation. In this paper the following unique ideas to achieve these requirements are introduced: magnetic disturbance compensation and rate estimation using star blurred images.

Findings

This paper presents the feasibility of a high accurate attitude control system in nano‐ and micro‐satellite missions.

Practical implications

This paper presents a possibility of the application of nano‐satellites to remote‐sensing and astronomy mission, which requires accurate attitude control.

Originality/value

Originalities of the paper are the methods to achieve the high accurate attitude control: magnetic disturbance compensation and angular rate estimation using star images.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 83 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

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Article

Jianmin Su and Yunfeng Dong

Fractionated satellite clusters need coming together and avoiding crashing with limited random initial relative motion conditions. It is not necessary to keep the…

Abstract

Purpose

Fractionated satellite clusters need coming together and avoiding crashing with limited random initial relative motion conditions. It is not necessary to keep the invariable configuration. The purpose of this paper is to put forward a control law which simulates organism swarm motion.

Design/methodology/approach

The motion of satellites follows three rules: coming together, velocity homology and avoiding crash. According to the rules, three control forces should be applied to satellite individuals. The final control force is the sum of three control forces. Electromagnetic dipole strengths calculation is formulated as nonlinear optimization problem. Considering control strengths have to be got in real time, iterative steps of optimization algorithm are fixed.

Findings

A control law which simulates organism swarm motion is put forward. The simulation shows the organism swarm motion simulation control law can keep fractionated satellite cluster coming together and avoiding crash. When iterative steps of optimization algorithm is fixed, the error of solve nonlinear equations is acceptable.

Originality/value

The control law is robust and easy to realize. When electromagnetic satellite cluster need not keep fixed configuration, it is a choice of control law of relative motion.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 84 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

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Article

Zhai kun and Yang Di

The purpose of this paper is to provide a feasible method to solve the zenith pass problem that can occur when the inter‐satellite linkage antenna of the user satellite is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a feasible method to solve the zenith pass problem that can occur when the inter‐satellite linkage antenna of the user satellite is tracing TDRS. The antenna uses the elevation‐over‐azimuth architecture.

Design/methodology/approach

The movement laws of the inter‐satellite linkage can be obtained based on the orbit predictions of the user satellite and TDRS. According to the movement laws, the zenith pass moments and blindness zones are found. The trajectory preprocessor is provided to design a command trajectory for driving the axis of the tilting mechanism.

Findings

In the worst situation, the blindness zone can appear once every half day. Three special orbit altitude values are obtained. When the user satellite picks one of them as its orbit altitude, the blindness zone may be avoided forever. The zenith pass tracing strategies based on the mechanical tilting method have been designed.

Research limitations/implications

This method obtains the stable tracking during the zenith pass course by changing the hardware structure of the antenna. It is too expensive and can influence the pointing precision of the antenna.

Practical implications

The research can help the engineers analyze and solve the zenith pass problem of the antenna.

Originality/value

This paper studies the zenith pass problem that can occur when the inter‐satellite linkage antenna of the user satellite is tracing TDRS and provides a solving method.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 81 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

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Article

Jihe Wang, Xibin Cao and Jinxiu Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to propose a fuel‐optimal virtual centre selection method for formation flying maintenance in the J2 perturbed environment.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a fuel‐optimal virtual centre selection method for formation flying maintenance in the J2 perturbed environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the relative orbital elements (ROE) theory, the J2 perturbed relative motions between different satellites in the formation are analyzed, and then the fuel‐optimal virtual centre selection issue for formation flying maintenance are parameterized in terms of ROE. In order to determine the optimal virtual centre, two theories are proposed in terms of ROE.

Findings

Numerical simulations demonstrate that the fuel‐optimal virtual centre selection method is valid, and the control of the ROE of each satellite with respect to a virtual optimal centre of the formation is more efficient regarding the fuel consumption than the control of all satellites with respect to a satellite belonging to the formation.

Research limitations/implications

The fuel‐optimal virtual centre selection method is valid for formation flying mission whose member satellite in circular or near circular orbit.

Practical implications

The fuel‐optimal virtual centre selection approach can be used to solve formation flying maintenance problem which involves multiple satellites in the formation.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a fuel‐optimal virtual centre selection method in terms of ROE, and shows that keeping the formation with respect the optimal virtual centre is more fuel efficient.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 84 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

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Article

Ahmad Soleymani and Mehran Nosratollahi

The purpose of this paper is to simulate the thermal performance of fluidic momentum controller (FMC) actuators in two case, with and without thermal distribution system…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to simulate the thermal performance of fluidic momentum controller (FMC) actuators in two case, with and without thermal distribution system on a three-axis configuration of FMC actuators to an orbital period of satellite. The results show the effectiveness of using a storage with FMC actuators.

Design/methodology/approach

One of the challenges during a satellite’s orbital mission is unpredictable external temperature perturbations. This system used as a collaborative thermal subsystem for microsatellite temperature passive control. The operating principles of the system are that each fluid rings are used in a microsatellite surface with pumps to stabilize the satellite. All fluid rings are connected to the satellite thermal distribution system (storage).

Findings

Simulation results show that with using of thermal distribution system, damping of satellite different surfaces temperature is rapidly possible to the event of thermal disturbances.

Practical implications

Numerical simulation is obtained by ANSYS Fluent software and pressure-velocity coupling is SIMPLE method and spatial discretization is second order accurate and first order in time, viscous model is k-e. In this regard, a solver algorithm is also developed.

Originality/value

In space research fields about FMC application as actuators to satellite system design, main goal is to research about role of this system to attitude and determination control system (ADCS) of satellites, and no study is performed on its role to satellite temperature damping. This study is exclusively simulated thermal distribution system (includes a storage and its connections) of a microsatellite equipped with FMC actuators. The idea of using a storage for FMC actuators is the innovative step of this research.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 92 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

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Article

Xin Liu, Junhui Wu, Yiyun Man, Xibao Xu and Jifeng Guo

With the continuous development of aerospace technology, space exploration missions have been increasing year by year, and higher requirements have been placed on the…

Abstract

Purpose

With the continuous development of aerospace technology, space exploration missions have been increasing year by year, and higher requirements have been placed on the upper level rocket. The purpose of this paper is to improve the ability to identify and detect potential targets for upper level rocket.

Design/methodology/approach

Aiming at the upper-level recognition of space satellites and core components, this paper proposes a deep learning-based spatial multi-target recognition method, which can simultaneously recognize space satellites and core components. First, the implementation framework of spatial multi-target recognition is given. Second, by comparing and analyzing convolutional neural networks, a convolutional neural network model based on YOLOv3 is designed. Finally, seven satellite scale models are constructed based on systems tool kit (STK) and Solidworks. Multi targets, such as nozzle, star sensor, solar,etc., are selected as the recognition objects.

Findings

By labeling, training and testing the image data set, the accuracy of the proposed method for spatial multi-target recognition is 90.17%, which is improved compared with the recognition accuracy and rate based on the YOLOv1 model, thereby effectively verifying the correctness of the proposed method.

Research limitations/implications

This paper only recognizes space multi-targets under ideal simulation conditions, but has not fully considered the space multi-target recognition under the more complex space lighting environment, nutation, precession, roll and other motion laws. In the later period, training and detection can be performed by simulating more realistic space lighting environment images or multi-target images taken by upper-level rocket to further verify the feasibility of multi-target recognition algorithms in complex space environments.

Practical implications

The research in this paper validates that the deep learning-based algorithm to recognize multiple targets in the space environment is feasible in terms of accuracy and rate.

Originality/value

The paper helps to set up an image data set containing six satellite models in STK and one digital satellite model that simulates spatial illumination changes and spins in Solidworks, and use the characteristics of spatial targets (such as rectangles, circles and lines) to provide prior values to the network convolutional layer.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 92 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

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Article

Amirreza Kosari, Alireza Sharifi, Alireza Ahmadi and Masoud Khoshsima

Attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS) is a vital part of earth observation satellites (EO-Satellites) that governs the satellite’s rotational motion and…

Abstract

Purpose

Attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS) is a vital part of earth observation satellites (EO-Satellites) that governs the satellite’s rotational motion and pointing. In designing such a complicated sub-system, many parameters including mission, system and performance requirements (PRs), as well as system design parameters (DPs), should be considered. Design cycles which prolong the time-duration and consequently increase the cost of the design process are due to the dependence of these parameters to each other. This paper aims to describe a rapid-sizing method based on the design for performance strategy, which could minimize the design cycles imposed by conventional methods.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed technique is an adaptation from that used in the aircraft industries for aircraft design and provides a ball-park figure with little engineering man-hours. The authors have shown how such a design technique could be generalized to cover the EO-satellites platform ADCS. The authors divided the system requirements into five categories, including maneuverability, agility, accuracy, stability and durability. These requirements have been formulated as functions of spatial resolution that is the highest level of EO-missions PRs. To size, the ADCS main components, parametric characteristics of the matching diagram were determined by means of the design drivers.

Findings

Integrating the design boundaries based on the PRs in critical phases of the mission allowed selecting the best point in the design space as the baseline design with only two iterations. The ADCS of an operational agile EO-satellite is sized using the proposed method. The results show that the proposed method can significantly reduce the complexity and time duration of the performance sizing process of ADCS in EO-satellites with an acceptable level of accuracy.

Originality/value

Rapid performance sizing of EO-satellites ADCS using matching diagram technique and consequently, a drastic reduction in design time via minimization of design cycles makes this study novel and represents a valuable contribution in this field.

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Article

Muhammad Jufri Marzuki and Graeme Newell

Communication infrastructure assets present a compelling investment opportunity for investors interested to tap into the technology-driven and innovation-led…

Abstract

Purpose

Communication infrastructure assets present a compelling investment opportunity for investors interested to tap into the technology-driven and innovation-led infrastructure segments, given the need for intensified capital deployment to prepare for the future substantial flow in volume and velocity of information. These communication infrastructure assets exist either in the segments of satellite or telecommunication infrastructure. This paper intends to empirically assess the performance attributes of listed satellite and telecommunication infrastructure over January 2000–June 2019. Sub-period performance dynamics of listed satellite and telecommunication infrastructure in the pre-GFC (January 2000–June 2007) and the post-GFC (July 2009–June 2019) investment horizons are provided.

Design/methodology/approach

Nineteen-year monthly total returns over 2000–2019 were used to analyse the risk-adjusted performance and portfolio diversification potential of both listed satellite and telecommunication infrastructure. The mean-variance portfolio optimisation framework using the full period and post-GFC ex-post returns, risk and correlation coefficient of listed satellite and telecommunication infrastructure and other financial assets was developed to determine the added-value benefits of listed satellite and telecommunication infrastructure in an optimised investment framework.

Findings

Listed satellite and telecommunication infrastructure delivered mixed investment performance. They were highly volatile and there was a significant discount in total return performance against the other asset classes in the full and pre-GFC periods. However, listed telecommunication infrastructure delivered stronger performance in the post-GFC period across all performance measures. Listed satellite and telecommunication infrastructure offered strong diversification benefits for investors across all investment horizons. Further, the inclusion of listed telecommunication infrastructure in both the full period and post-GFC mixed-asset investment framework was also empirically justified.

Practical implications

Communication infrastructure assets such as satellite and telecommunication infrastructure are the key infrastructure assets to ensure the seamless operation of and interaction with modern technology going forward. Whilst being a small proportion of the overall infrastructure asset class universe, the $2.1 trillion progressively expanding listed communication infrastructure sector is having an important role to stimulate investor capital deployments in high quality and future-proof communication infrastructure assets. Listed satellite and telecommunication infrastructure assets are an opportunistic investment given their future growth potential and are seen as a suitable fit for investors with a secular investment profile.

Originality/value

Despite the infrastructure asset class being the focus of growing attention and empirical analysis, no previous studies have empirically investigated the listed satellite and telecommunication infrastructure sectors. This is the first published empirical research analysis that aims at articulating the investment attributes of listed satellite and telecommunication infrastructure as a route for exposure in technology-related infrastructure assets. This research validates and informs practical property investment decision-making for investors seeking exposure in the increasingly important communication infrastructure assets sector.

Details

Journal of Property Investment & Finance, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-578X

Keywords

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Article

Saleh Akbaritabar, Reza Esmaelzadeh and Reza Zardashti

This paper aims to describe a novel type of attitude control system (ACS) in different configurations. This servomechanism is compared with control moment gyro (CMG) in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe a novel type of attitude control system (ACS) in different configurations. This servomechanism is compared with control moment gyro (CMG) in significant parameters of performance for ACS of rigid satellite.

Design/methodology/approach

This new actuator is the fluid containing one or more rings and fluid flow is supplied by pump. The required torque control is obtained by managing fluid angular velocity. The cube-shaped satellite with three rings of fluid in the principle axes is considered for modeling. The satellite is considered rigid and nonlinear dynamics equation is used for it. In addition, the failure of the pyramid-shaped satellite with an additional ring fluid is discussed.

Findings

The controller model for four fluid rings has more complexity than for three fluid rings. The simulation results illustrated that four fluid rings need less energy for stabilization than three fluid rings. The performance of this type of actuator is compared with CMG. At last, it is demonstrated that performance parameters are improved with fluid ring actuator.

Research limitations/implications

Fluid ring actuator can be affected by environmental pressure and temperature. Therefore, freezing and boiling temperature of the fluid should be considered in system designation.

Practical implications

Fluid ring servomechanism can be used as ACS in rigid satellites. This actuator is compared by CMG, the prevalent actuator. It has less displacement attitude maneuver.

Originality/value

The results provide the feasibility and advantages of using fluid rings as satellite ACS. The quaternion error controller is used for this model to enhance its performance.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 90 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

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