Special Issue "Verification Approaches for Nano- and Micro-Satellites"
A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).
Interests: small satellites; innovative spacecraft subsystems including the ground segment; planetary exploration with particular reference to radio science experiments
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Interests: design and testing in the field of microsatellites and space microsystems; methods for attitude determination and control; recursive filters; micropropulsion systems; test-bench for attitude determination and control systems of small satellites
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
There is growing interest for the development of light, small, high-performance spacecraft (S/C) platforms for a wide range of missions. In the early stages of the small-satellite era, both nano-satellites (<10 kg) and micro-satellites (>10 kg) were mainly intended for educational and technology demonstration goals. Nowadays, they are a consolidate means for Earth observation, where they are dramatically reducing the mission costs. We are now at a turning point, where nano-/micro-sat systems can accomplish interplanetary missions beyond the boundaries of LEO orbits (Low Earth Orbits). However, in spite of the substantial increase in low-mass satellites launched since 2013, several statistics show the low success rate of these COTS (commercial off-the-shelf)-based cost-driven systems. Only half of nano-satellites succeeded in mission operations after the successful launch in the last 15 years, but the success rate plunges for larger micro-satellites.
The low success rate of nano-satellites is acceptable, up to a certain extent for educational or technology demonstration missions. This may stem from the way in which university-led projects design and carry out the S/C ground verification process, which lacks repeatability and rigor routinely found in industry. However, despite a nano-satellite is relatively inexpensive, if the S/C is lunched for commercial or scientific exploration purposes, failure is not really an option.
What are the technical challenges and the programmatic difficulties to be faced in order to increase substantially the reliability of nano-/micro-sat missions? The historical causes of low-mass satellite failure can be traced back to (a) lack of system-level testing due to schedule and budget constraints, (b) inadequate thermal design and verification, and (c) use of COTS electronics. Clearly, rigorous ground verification approaches—tailoring the existing testing standards for traditional large/medium-class satellites—are needed to face effectively such challenges.
The topics for this Special Issue include both system analysis for future projects and in-flight experience from ongoing missions. Submission of manuscripts dealing with both subsystem and system-level Assembly Integration and Verification (AIV), with a focus on verification approach, verification methods, verification levels, verification stages, models philosophy and verification tools is encouraged. Papers also are sought which review recent research developments in comprehensive ground verification systems, including not only Software-in-the-Loop (SIL) and component-level Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tests, but also system-level HIL tests.
Prof. Paolo Tortora
Prof. Dario Modenini
Manuscript Submission Information
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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Assembly Integration and Verification
- Ground Testing
- Verification Approaches for Nano- and Micro-Satellites II in Aerospace (2 articles)