A study of emerging space nation and commercial satellite operator stakeholder preferences for space traffic management
Author(s)Lifson, Miles(Miles Thelonius Keylor)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Data, Systems, and Society.
Technology and Policy Program.
Danielle Wood and Richard Linares.
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The near-Earth space environment is a finite, shared resource. Trends including reduced launch costs, electronics miniaturization, and preference for resilient, disaggregated architectures are driving significant growth in the orbital population. Existing systems to coordinate and manage space traffic do not scale to this higher level of utilization or promote the efficient and equitable use of space. There is growing need for both new technical space traffic management (STM) systems and policy regimes to coordinate activities going to, in, and returning from space. This thesis describes several contributions to developing this integrated corpus. A literature review of proposed STM architectures highlights gaps in understandings of emerging space nation STM perspectives and commercial operator attitudes on data sharing. Based on United Nations documents and interviews with emerging space nation representatives, a set of four recommendations is developed for future international STM development efforts. These recommendations stress affordability, achievable technical requirements for participation, inclusive system design, and careful consideration of satellite control allocation. Through a review of operator U.S. regulatory filings and new interviews with operators and experts, operator attitudes are traced successively through 1) potential STM domains and functions; 2) per function data requirements; 3) concerns about data sharing; 4) attitudes towards data protection mechanisms; and 5) influence on potential STM system design. Key insights include the importance of operator perceived self-benefit from data sharing, and significant heterogeneity in operator data sharing attitudes.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, September, 2020Thesis: S.M. in Technology and Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, Technology and Policy Program, September, 2020Cataloged from student-submitted PDF of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 199-213).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Data, Systems, and Society; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology and Policy Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics., Institute for Data, Systems, and Society., Technology and Policy Program.