Space Traffic Management for Mega-constellations

The deployment of very large satellite constellations and proliferation of small satellites are driving substantial increases in the number of active on-orbit spacecraft and object density in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). New techniques will be necessary to coordinate this traffic to ensure both orbital safety and efficient use of shared, finite orbital volume. ARCLab’s work in this field centers on the development of a proposal for slotting of LEO spacecraft, using flower constellation theory to design sets of orbits that inherently avoid close approaches between active satellites. Particularly, this project focuses on the development of robust controllers for autonomous collision avoidance maneuvers; the study of the possibilities of reconfiguration of these slotting architectures and their evolution under the effect of orbital perturbations; the assessment of resiliency, risk and optimization of these systems; certifiable control for STM; and potential slotting allocation and licensing systems.

Image: European Space Agency