Impact of Broad Small Satellite Constellations on Space Operations Versus Their Contributions to Society

Topp, Elias, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Ku, Tsai-Hsuan, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Goyne, Chris, EN-Mech/Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia

When working on the technical project, I was tasked with looking into the space environment to which the satellite would be exposed. Among other things, this included debris. It got me to thinking about the number of satellites in orbit, what happens when they fail to deorbit properly, and the consequences of collisions with existing debris. As such, the research project was initiated to provide a forward-looking analysis as to how the increasing prominence of small satellite constellations will benefit society and the impact they will have on space operations, including the launches of vehicles that carry the satellites themselves and Earth-based observation of distant solar bodies. The report uses the Actor Network Theory to determine how each player coexists with the others to provide a thoughtful analysis on the positives and negatives of the current and potential future state of affairs.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
satellite, constellations
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