Title: A deterministic multifunctional architecture for highly adaptive small satellites

Authors: Sunday Ekpo; Danielle George

Addresses: Microwave and Communication Systems Research Group, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M60 1QD, UK. ' Microwave and Communication Systems Research Group, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M60 1QD, UK

Abstract: A deterministic multifunctional architecture design approach for a highly adaptive small satellite system is proposed in this paper. It enables five levels of design customisation of all categories of highly adaptive small satellites; adaptive functional modules implement higher-level customised and reconfigurable mission functions. Each adaptive multifunctional structural unit (AMSU) supports the subsystem functions as a 'structural and functional block' and comes either as a baseline or hybrid. Associated functional sub subsystem components are contained in each AMSU. This removes the conventional structural and functional subsystem boundaries. A meteorology spacecraft mission using a highly adaptive nanosatellite reveals, besides more advanced mission capabilities, 0.6 kg and 1 W mass- and power-savings respectively over a conventional nanosatellite system implementation. This novelty results in adaptive, reconfigurable and multifunctional architectures with economies of scale, timely launch, system-level reliability, flexible integration and test options, cost-effective mass production, post-mission reapplication and optimal performance at the desired mission objectives.

Keywords: adaptive architectures; dynamic redundancy; field programmable gate arrays; FPGA; functional reliability; highly adaptive small satellites; in-orbit adaptation; multifunctional architecture; post-space mission reapplication; reconfigurable architectures; spacecraft design; design customisation; nanosatellites.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSCPM.2012.049543

International Journal of Satellite Communications Policy and Management, 2012 Vol.1 No.2/3, pp.174 - 194

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 07 Oct 2012 *

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