Designing for the space environment via trade space exploration

Christopher Binz, David B. Spencer, Deborah A. Levin, Timothy W. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The trade space exploration process is applied to specific problem of designing for the space environment. A model is developed, and the estimated cumulative effects of the space environment on the lifetime and performance of the spacecraft are quantified. The main outputs of the model correspond to the three objectives such as a lifetime estimate, a launch cost estimate, and an optical payload performance estimate. Cost is a function of spacecraft mass in this study, although a more refined cost model should be added as the fidelity of other subsections is increased. The optical performance metric consists of a weighted objective function combining estimates of the intensity of luminescence from spacecraft glow and the estimated thickness of condensed contaminants. Although the maximum volume of the satellite in this problem is restricted to 9 m3, all preferred designs converge to a fraction of that, generally less than 30%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1070-1073
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Designing for the space environment via trade space exploration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this