Autonomous satellite constellation for enhanced Earth coverage using coupled selection equations

Garrie Mushet, Giorgio Mingotti, Camilla Colombo, Colin McInnes

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Abstract

This paper presents a novel solution to the problem of autonomous task allocation for a self-organising constellation of small satellites in Earth orbit. The method allows the constellation members to plan manoeuvres to cluster themselves above particular target longitudes on the Earth’s surface. This is enabled through the use of Coupled Selection Equations, which represent a dynamical systems approach to combinatorial optimisation problems, and whose solution tends towards a Boolean matrix which describes pairings of the satellites and targets which solves the relevant assignment problems. Satellite manoeuvres are actuated using a simple control law which incorporates the results of the Coupled Selection Equations. Three demonstrations of the efficacy of the method are given in order of increasing complexity
- first with an equal number of satellites and targets, then with a surplus of satellites, including agent failure events, and finally with a constellation of two
different satellite types. The method is shown to provide efficient solutions, whilst being computationally non-intensive, quick to converge and robust to satellite failures. Proposals to extend the method for on-board processing on a distributed architecture are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2013
Event7th International Workshop on Satellite Constellation and Formation Flying - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 13 Mar 201315 Mar 2013

Conference

Conference7th International Workshop on Satellite Constellation and Formation Flying
CountryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period13/03/1315/03/13

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Keywords

  • satellite constellation
  • Earth coverage
  • satellite communication

Cite this

Mushet, G., Mingotti, G., Colombo, C., & McInnes, C. (2013). Autonomous satellite constellation for enhanced Earth coverage using coupled selection equations. Paper presented at 7th International Workshop on Satellite Constellation and Formation Flying, Lisbon, Portugal.