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Data-driven lifetime risk assessment and mitigation planning for large-scale satellite constellations

Data-driven lifetime risk assessment and mitigation planning for large-scale satellite constellations
Data-driven lifetime risk assessment and mitigation planning for large-scale satellite constellations
We introduce a methodology for estimating the risk posed to the space environment by a spacecraft over an arbitrary period of time following a risk mitigation strategy, in terms of aggregate collision probability. Our methodology enables estimation of residual risk and maneuver frequency, where residual risk is defined conceptually as the risk to a spacecraft which remains even after adherence to a risk mitigation strategy. The key parameters considered which affect residual risk for a general risk mitigation strategy are the risk mitigation maneuver (RMM) threshold, the risk reduction factor, and the maneuver execution time. We present an analytic result regarding the necessary residual risk (per-satellite) to ensure the total aggregate collision probability of a satellite constellation of arbitrary size be below a target value. This approach offers a more complete model of spacecraft safety and potential risk to the space environment by studying more than just the RMM threshold, which has historically been used as a common benchmark in space situational awareness and regulatory compliance literature. Our analysis shows that the RMM threshold is but one of a few factors which have significant effects on residual risk. We provide evidence that the RMM threshold alone is an incomplete indicator of the actual risk posed to the space environment by an operational spacecraft. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this methodology by presenting numerical results which model realistic satellites and satellite constellations and draw key insights from this analysis which will aid in managing the safety and sustainability of the space environment and inform risk mitigation strategies for large satellite constellations.
Lifetime risk, Maneuver planning, Risk mitigation, Satellite constellations, Space debris, Space situational awareness, Space sustainability, Spaceflight safety
0021-9142
Diaz, Paul
4f5ce1b0-a0fd-498c-9349-584976f40b91
Mesalles Ripoll, Pol
a9ede1c2-8258-481d-8497-08fe89445f4e
Duncan, Matthew
9bc44344-1fb2-46e4-9c3c-9a0c3e8e1d62
Lindsay, Mike
2e3c4cee-01ba-4ffb-8d69-13ce37af25a0
Harris, Toby
321e92f9-f1f1-41e2-b618-13625bdad5ed
Lewis, Hugh G.
e9048cd8-c188-49cb-8e2a-45f6b316336a
Diaz, Paul
4f5ce1b0-a0fd-498c-9349-584976f40b91
Mesalles Ripoll, Pol
a9ede1c2-8258-481d-8497-08fe89445f4e
Duncan, Matthew
9bc44344-1fb2-46e4-9c3c-9a0c3e8e1d62
Lindsay, Mike
2e3c4cee-01ba-4ffb-8d69-13ce37af25a0
Harris, Toby
321e92f9-f1f1-41e2-b618-13625bdad5ed
Lewis, Hugh G.
e9048cd8-c188-49cb-8e2a-45f6b316336a

Diaz, Paul, Mesalles Ripoll, Pol, Duncan, Matthew, Lindsay, Mike, Harris, Toby and Lewis, Hugh G. (2023) Data-driven lifetime risk assessment and mitigation planning for large-scale satellite constellations. The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, 70 (4), [21]. (doi:10.1007/s40295-023-00384-w).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We introduce a methodology for estimating the risk posed to the space environment by a spacecraft over an arbitrary period of time following a risk mitigation strategy, in terms of aggregate collision probability. Our methodology enables estimation of residual risk and maneuver frequency, where residual risk is defined conceptually as the risk to a spacecraft which remains even after adherence to a risk mitigation strategy. The key parameters considered which affect residual risk for a general risk mitigation strategy are the risk mitigation maneuver (RMM) threshold, the risk reduction factor, and the maneuver execution time. We present an analytic result regarding the necessary residual risk (per-satellite) to ensure the total aggregate collision probability of a satellite constellation of arbitrary size be below a target value. This approach offers a more complete model of spacecraft safety and potential risk to the space environment by studying more than just the RMM threshold, which has historically been used as a common benchmark in space situational awareness and regulatory compliance literature. Our analysis shows that the RMM threshold is but one of a few factors which have significant effects on residual risk. We provide evidence that the RMM threshold alone is an incomplete indicator of the actual risk posed to the space environment by an operational spacecraft. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this methodology by presenting numerical results which model realistic satellites and satellite constellations and draw key insights from this analysis which will aid in managing the safety and sustainability of the space environment and inform risk mitigation strategies for large satellite constellations.

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Accepted/In Press date: 29 May 2023
Published date: 5 July 2023
Additional Information: Publisher Copyright: © 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to American Astronautical Society.
Keywords: Lifetime risk, Maneuver planning, Risk mitigation, Satellite constellations, Space debris, Space situational awareness, Space sustainability, Spaceflight safety

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 483379
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/483379
ISSN: 0021-9142
PURE UUID: e8f229f0-9464-40c2-bc80-71ba63ca7077
ORCID for Hugh G. Lewis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3946-8757

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Date deposited: 30 Oct 2023 12:24
Last modified: 18 Mar 2024 02:44

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Contributors

Author: Paul Diaz
Author: Pol Mesalles Ripoll
Author: Matthew Duncan
Author: Mike Lindsay
Author: Toby Harris
Author: Hugh G. Lewis ORCID iD

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