Picosatellites for Maritime Security Applications – the Lambdasat Case

Georgios Mantzouris, Periklis Papadopoulos, Nikitas Nikitakos, Marco Manso, Alexander Bordetsky, Zacharias Sarris, Garik Markarian, Kyriakos I. Kourousis

Abstract


This study explores the potential deployment of small satellites for maritime interdiction and security applications by investigating the available solutions and formulating a generic proposal to optimize the use of those short-lived space assets in support of these operations. The operational background is analyzed with respect to the potential use of these systems by field officers. An analysis for operational micro and picosatellite characteristics is executed, and a brief outlook on the vulnerabilities of those for Low Earth Orbits is given. Moreover, a real scenario has been implemented, and the obtained computational results provide useful insight into how these space systems can be used for maritime security operations. Particular reference is given to the state-of-the-art status of propulsion systems capable of enhancing the lifetime of the satellites. Similarly, a literature survey has been conducted collecting all available picosatellites in orbit today that deal with maritime security applications. The study also explores the application of Lambdasat picosatellite (currently in orbit) to demonstrate the capability of exchanging alert messages between ground stations in Greece and in the US and vessels in the middle of the ocean. With these experiments we will demonstrate the ability magnitude of a picosatellite to support maritime operations.


Keywords


Micro satellites; Picosatellites; Space maritime security operations; Micropropulsion; Vulnerabilities; Satellite communication; Picosatellite ground station.

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