Semiautonomous mission operation plan for a remote sensing leo microsatellite

Mohammad Malekan*, Samira Hosseini, Vafa Sedghi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Mission operation planning is a critical and multidisciplinary feature in conducting satellite missions. Satellite operations can be divided into three phases: initial phase, operational or nominal phase, and disposal. All the tasks of these phases might be handled onboard, using a specified level of autonomy. On the other hand, a combination of onboard management and ground station (GS) telecommands can be used to perform the mentioned tasks. In the present work, a mission operation plan has been developed for a remote sensing low earth orbit (LEO) microsatellite using the semiautomated method, covering all operational phases of the satellite. The proper level of in-orbit autonomy enables the satellite to perform mission-specified tasks when out of ground station coverage. Additionally, microsatellite operational architecture for all in-orbit phases is presented. A basic timetable of the onboard control procedure is described, representing the satellite mission tasks and their corresponding sequence, and the microsatellite contingency plan with regard to mission priorities and electrical power constraints is explained.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4015016
JournalJournal of Aerospace Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1. Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • LEO microsatellite
  • Level of autonomy
  • Mission operation plan
  • Remote sensing


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