Aalto-1 CubeSat Mission Design Optimization

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Sähkötekniikan korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Space Robotics and Automation
Degree programme
SST - Space Science and Technology (TS2005)
Small satellites are becoming increasingly popular solution for many space organizations and universities, both for commercial applications and scientific experimentation. The advances in electronics and sensor technology miniaturization have reduced the size of the satellites and enabled significant savings in construction and launch cost. However, the reliability and operability of very small satellites is still not in par with bigger satellites, tight budgets during the development and small amount of available energy in space set strong limits. The aim of this thesis is to address the mission planning and scheduling problems of small satellites, especially the multi-objective missions that require advanced planning and scheduling methods to resolve the operational complexities with optimized utilization of available resources. The research compares two different satellite mission planning and scheduling techniques. First technique is the genetic algorithm (GA), a population based optimization of scheduling tasks, in which the fitness function is calculated by the weight factors assigned to each task depending upon the priority of the task. The second technique is heuristic approach using the constraint satisfaction problem (CSP) in which the sequences of actions are constructed based on other constraints, from initial state to desired goal. The optimized solution for the small satellite mission planning and scheduling of various mission phases has been implemented focusing on Aalto-1 CubeSat mission design. A mission simulation software toolbox, utilizing the mentioned optimization techniques, has been developed in order to provide mission analysis tools for CubeSats. Consequently, Aalto-1 CubeSat power budgets, on-board data budgets and communication schemes for UHF and S-band have been analyzed to optimize the mission scheduling and planning for it’s in orbit operations. Furthermore, various design and operation phases have been explained in details to provide an overview of small satellites mission designs and to address the issues related to many CubeSat mission failures.
Praks, Jaan
Thesis advisor
Praks, Jaan
Aalto-1 CubeSat, mission scheduling, small satellites, power budgeting, communication link budgeting, data budgeting
Other note