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Leveraging the NPS Femto Satellite for Alternative Satellite Communication Networks

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Femto satellites may provide solutions for the U.S. military in different areas. Specifically, these satellites may offer an effective and affordable alternative approach when the military faces a denial of access to primary space assets. Their low cost allows for the rapid simultaneous deployment of multiple Femto satellites, which contributes to rapid recovery from a denial situation. This thesis focuses on the communication application of Femto satellites by investigating the ability of the first and next generations of Naval Postgraduate School Femto Satellites NPSFS to provide a low data throughput. We modeled the first generation of NPSFS as a space-based network using System Tool Kit with QualNet STKQualNet software. For the next generation of NPSFS, we conducted an experiment using Intel Arduino 101 to control the Iridium 9602 Modem, also known as the RockBlock MK2, to test the possibility of sending a text file from one terminal to another. The results confirmed the power limitation associated with Femto satellites, which reduces their suitability for implementation as a viable space network. Nevertheless, the results showed that providing a low data throughput is feasible. Finally, we suggest ways to improve the next-generation NPSFS.

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Technical Report



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Approved For Public Release;

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