Satellite Anomalies: Benefits of a Centralized Anomaly Database and Methods for Securely Sharing Information Among Satellite Operators
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
Pagination or Media Count:
Satellites in Earth orbit represent a critical component of society s modern infrastructure. Failure of a satellite, or even of a particular subsystem, can significantly affect capabilities on which the civil, defense, and commercial sectors have come to rely. Most satellite owners monitor the health of their systems and keep track of any unusual problems their spacecraft experience. These satellite anomalies are defined, for the purposes of this study, as any mission-degrading events affecting on-orbit operational spacecraft. Examples include onboard computer errors or failures, malfunctioning attitude control systems, loss of radio contact, the degradation of solar panel efficiency, and many other mechanical or electronic symptoms. Most satellites experience anomalies of varying severity throughout their lifetimes. The root causes of these anomalies may include manufacturing and design flaws in satellite hardware and software, extreme space weather events that affect the intensity of electromagnetic radiation and density of charged particles in the satellite s environment, impacts with micrometeoroids or space debris, operator error, regular wear and tear from exposure to the plasma environment of space, or interference by human technological activities, either intentional or unintentional.
- Information Science
- Unmanned Spacecraft