Optimal power harness routing for small-scale satellites

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

3 Citations (Scopus)
213 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents an approach to optimal power harness design based on a modified ant colony optimisation algorithm. The optimisation of the harness routing topology is formulated as a constrained multi-objective optimisation problem in which the main objectives are to minimise the length (and therefore the mass) of the harness. The modified ant colony optimisation algorithm automatically routes different types of wiring, creating the optimal harness layout. During the optimisation the length, mass and bundleness of the cables are computed and used as cost functions. The optimisation algorithm works incrementally on a finite set of waypoints, forming a tree, by adding and evaluating one branch at a time, utilising a set of heuristics using the cable length and cable bundling as criteria to select the optimal path. Constraints are introduced as forbidden waypoints through which digital agents (hereafter called
ants) cannot travel. The new algorithm developed will be applied to the design of the harness of a small satellite, with results highlighting the capabilities and potentialities of the code.
Original languageEnglish
PagesPaper IAC-11-C3.1.3
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2011
Event62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011 - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 3 Oct 20117 Oct 2011


Conference62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityCape Town


  • small satellites
  • ant colony optimization
  • discrete optimisation
  • multi-objective optimisation
  • harness
  • routing
  • bundle


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