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New GEO paradigm: Re-purposing satellite components from the GEO graveyard

Barbara, Nicholas H. and Lizy-Destrez, Stéphanie and Guardabasso, Paolo and Alary, Didier New GEO paradigm: Re-purposing satellite components from the GEO graveyard. (2020) Acta Astronautica, 173. 155-163. ISSN 0094-5765

(Document in English)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2020.03.041


The rising production rate of space debris poses an increasingly severe threat of collision to satellites in the crowded Geostationary Orbit (GEO). It also presents a unique opportunity to make use of a growing supply of in-space resources for the benefit of the satellite community. “The Recycler” is a mission proposed to source replacements for failed components in GEO satellites by extracting functioning components from non-operational spacecraft in the GEO graveyard. This paper demonstrates a method of analyzing in-space re-purposing missions such as the Recycler, using real satellite data to provide a strong platform for accurate performance estimates. An inventory of 1107 satellites in the extended GEO region is presented, and a review into past GEO satellite anomalies is conducted to show that solar arrays would be in the greatest demand for re-purposing. This inventory is used as an input to a greedy selection algorithm and trajectory simulation to show that the Recycler spacecraft could harvest components for 67 client satellites with its allotted fuel budget. This capacity directly meets the levels of customer demand estimated from the GEO satellite anomaly data, placing the Recycler as a strong contender in a future second-hand satellite-component industry. Propellant mass is found to be a greater restriction on the Recycler mission than its 15-year lifetime — a problem which could be solved by on-orbit refueling.

Item Type:Article
HAL Id:hal-03200249
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Other partners > Airbus (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
Other partners > ArianeGroup (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:01 Dec 2020 10:22

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