Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Operations Research


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Darryl K. Ahner, PhD


This thesis presents a methodology to assess the ability of a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation to successfully accomplish the GMTI mission in a cost-effective fashion. A simulation model was developed to test the coverage performance of 512 unique constellation designs. Significant factors were revealed by developing regression models that revealed the most critical constellation trade-offs on measures of performance. A Value-Focused Thinking (VFT) approach was applied to assign weights to a broad range of measures of performance from which the Pareto distribution on a cost-capability plot revealed cost-effectiveness. A novel measure of performance was developed and analyzed that accounted for a minimum threshold percent coverage tunable to a commander's risk threshold requirement for mission accomplishment over defined geographical mission sub-areas.

AFIT Designator