Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Space Systems


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Richard G. Cobb, PhD


The purpose of this research was to develop a general, statistical model of order-to-delivery times for commercial satellite imagery. The research looked at the current four satellite providers with 3-meter or better imagers in the context of a generalized model of commercial imaging satellite operations. Existing methods use orbit analysis tools to determine the imaging time of a specified target based on defined satellite position and times, but can only develop shortest and longest times to an imaging opportunity. To address the general question of the time it takes to deliver an image for non-specific targets, this research develops a process model using Arena simulation software and random targets within large defined regions. Analysis of delivery times conducted on the output reveals dependencies on collective satellite coverage, prediction of weather over the target area, the number of collection requests in the system, and the computer and communications resources of the satellite operator.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number