A novel space system architecture is proposed, which would enable 100-g-class spacecraft to be flown as swarms (100 s-1000 s) in low Earth orbit. Swarms of Silicon Wafer Integrated Femtosatellites (SWIFT) present a paradigm-shifting approach to distributed spacecraft development, missions, and applications. Potential applications of SWIFT swarms include sparse aperture arrays and distributed sensor networks. New swarm array configurations are introduced and shown to achieve the effective sparse aperture driven from optical performance metrics. A system cost analysis based on this comparison justifies deploying a large number of femtosatellites for sparse aperture applications. Moreover, this paper discusses promising guidance, control, and navigation methods for swarms of femtosatellites equipped with modest sensing and control capabilities.
- Autonomous agents
- Control systems
- Distributed control
- Space technology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering