Fractionated Spacecraft Architectures Seeding Study
Final rept. 1 Jan 2005-4 Mar 2006
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY POLICY AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT
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The report introduces the concept of spacecraft fractionation, which transforms a traditional monolithic spacecraft into a network of elements where a free-flying payload module is supported by nearby free-flying infrastructure modules supplying communications, data handling, power, etc. Models were developed from a customer-centric perspective to assess different fractionated spacecraft architectures relative to traditional spacecraft architectures using multi-attribute analysis. Along with traditional attributes of mass and cost, nontraditional attributes of maintainability, scalability, flexibility, and responsiveness were included in the assessment. A framework was created to clearly define and evaluate these non-traditional attributes, and appropriate metrics were constructed. This study demonstrates that if those non-traditional attributes are valued enough, customers would choose fractionated spacecraft rather than traditional ones.
- Unmanned Spacecraft
- Ground Support Systems and Facilities for Space Vehicles