Failure resilience in proliferated low earth orbit satellite network topologies
November 28, 2022
The vision of continuous network connectivity for users located anywhere on Earth is increasingly being enabled by satellite constellations with hundreds to thousands of satellites operating in low altitude orbits (typically somewhere between a few hundred and two thousand km). These constellations are often referred to as proliferated Low Earth Orbit (pLEO) constellations. Potential military use of such constellations would require a high degree of resilience against various types of failures. This paper examines how resilience to satellite failures in particular is affected by topology and topology management for a moderate-sized constellation of 360 low-earth-orbit satellites providing 2X-redundant global coverage. We present simulations quantifying the effects of two vs. four inter-satellite links (ISLs) per satellite, and of dynamic post-failure topology reconfiguration vs static topology management. Simulations show differences of 65-80% in mission connectivity between 4-ISL topologies with dynamic topology reconfiguration and 2-ISL topologies with static topology using two different traffic scenarios.