Spacecraft-ns3: Spacecraft Discrete-Event Network Simulation
Evans, Julianna Marie
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As near-Earth space becomes more populated with large constellations of satellites and research into spacecraft autonomy and disaggregation becomes more prevalent, it will be increasingly important to design effective communication procedures between satellites to efficiently share resources and avoid collisions. Though there have been several space networking simulation tools created in recent years, they all lack rigorous astrodynamics models or use high-fidelity but bulky and computationally taxing commercial software. This research presents Spacecraft-ns3, an extension to the ns-3 network simulator. Using a modular approach, Spacecraft-ns3 propagates orbit state, plans discrete events, and analyzes network metrics and flows. A case study using Spacecraft-ns3 is presented for exploratory space network analysis.
General Audience Abstract
Near-Earth space has become more crowded in recent years due to the increasing number of large constellations of satellites in this region. Autonomous vehicle research has been applied to Earth satellites primarily to share power and computing resources between satellites, or to prevent collisions between satellites. Both of these factors require effective communication procedures between satellites, which can be inexpensively simulated with network simulators. However, network simulators are primarily designed for ground-based use, and must be combined with an astrodynamics simulator to effectively simulate satellite networks. This research presents Spacecraft-ns3, an integrated simulator that defines spacecraft orbits and attitude, and analyzes network activity. This simulator improves upon prior simulation efforts by extending the ns-3 network simulator with efficient and high-fidelity astrodynamics models. The Spacecraft-ns3 simulator is demonstrated in an exploratory case study.
- Masters Theses