Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Alan L. Jennings, PhD.


In satellite constellation design, performance and cost of the system drive the design process. The Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation is currently used to provide positioning and timing worldwide. As satellite technology has improved over the years, the cost to develop and maintain the satellites has increased. Using a constellation design tool, it is possible to analyze the tradeoffs of new navigation constellation designs (Pareto fronts) that illustrate the tradeoffs between position dilution of precision (PDOP) and system cost. This thesis utilized Satellite Tool Kit (STK) to calculate PDOP values of navigation constellations, and the Unmanned Spacecraft Cost Model (USCM) along with the Small Spacecraft Cost Model (SSCM) to determine system cost. The design parameters used include Walker constellation parameters, orbital elements, and transmit power. The results show that the constellation design tool produces realistic solutions. Using the generated solutions, an analysis of the navigation constellation designs was presented.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number