Discipline: Computer Sciences and Information Management
Subcategory: Computer Engineering
Dolores Petropulos - Rollins College
SmallSat technology has an unrealized potential in both the private industry and in the federal government. Currently over 100 companies, 50 universities and 17 governmental agencies are involved in SmallSat research and development. In 1994, the U.S. Army Missile and Defense mapped the moon using SmallSat imagery. Since then Smart Phones have introduced this imagery to the people of the world. Many diverse industries have watched this trend. The deployment cost of SmallSats is also greatly reduced compared to traditional satellites due to the fact that multiple units can be deployed in a single mission. Imaging payloads have become more sophisticated, smaller and lighter. In addition, the growth of small technology obtained from private industries has led to the more widespread use of SmallSats. This includes greater revisit rates in imagery, significantly lower costs, the ability to update technology more frequently and the ability to decrease vulnerability of enemy attacks. The popularity of SmallSats show a changing mentality in this fast paced world of tomorrow. What impact has this created on the NASA Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) networks now and in future years?
In this project, I, with assistance from NASA SCaN engineers, have been developing a SmallSat Relational Database which can support the modeling and simulation of SmallSats within the NASA Strategic Center for Education, Networking, Integration and Communications (SCENlC) Modeling and Simulation Lab. The NASA (SCaN) Program can use this modeling system to project required network support needs in the next 10 to 15 years. The SmallSat Rational Database could model SmallSats just as the other SCaN databases model the more traditional larger satellites.
Some enhancements to this database structure are that the SmallSat Database is designed to be build-to-order (BTO). My SmallSat database holds various unique hardware configurations that can be used to model a SmallSat. It will require significant effort to develop as the research material is unique and part of the unique data will need to be populated by hand. This data has to be verified to obtain the correct unique data information that is required for accuracy. My SmallSat Relational Database can also be integrated with the SCENIC Simulation modeling system that is currently in development by other NASA Interns in the SCaN Program. The SmallSat Relational Database simulation will be of great significance in assisting the NASA SCaN group to understand the impact that SmallSats have made. What I have created and worked on this summer session 2015, is the basis for a tool that will be of great value to the NASA SCaN SCENIC Simulation Environment for years to come.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Entry Point (ERNST)
Faculty Advisor: Robert Bittner,