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A Unified Satellite Taxonomy Proposal Based on Mass and Size

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DOI: 10.4236/aast.2019.44005    294 Downloads   610 Views


The classification of spacecraft by mass is one of the main metrics to define the size of launch vehicles and the costs of launching satellites into orbit. The existence of many classifications (based on size categories and mass range values) makes inaccurate their common global characterization. This paper presents a review of the main satellite classifications schemes and a brief discussion about the current trends in the launcher market as an input to the satellite classification. Based on mass and size ranges and considering previous schemes and launching capabilities, a new classification arrangement is then proposed. According to the new scheme, satellites are grouped into 10 categories following specific rules depending on mass and size. In addition to unifying previous definitions of categories for small satellites, our new spacecraft taxonomy has the advantage of creating classes for very large space devices, such as space stations and potential interplanetary exploration missions.

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A. S., R. and Xavier Jr., A. (2019) A Unified Satellite Taxonomy Proposal Based on Mass and Size. Advances in Aerospace Science and Technology, 4, 57-73. doi: 10.4236/aast.2019.44005.

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