Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

William E. Wiesel, PhD.


In recent years, space has become more congested and contested, particularly in low Earth orbit (LEO), generating the need for a low-latency capability to provide precise orbital knowledge and accurate space situational awareness information. This thesis investigates the feasibility of resident space objects (RSOs) in LEO communicating continuously with ground operators or users through the Iridium Satellite Communications Network. Due to the problem's complexity and required time for computation, a test-industry technique called Design of Experiments is implemented in order to efficiently study the feasibility of the communication link. Specifically, an optimal response surface method is chosen to design the computation test matrix of orbital parameters in Design Expert for simulations using Systems Tool Kit. The results provide a statistical polynomial model for predicting the total Iridium-network access times and windows under specified orbital parameters. Initial assessments and physical constraints provide the model-space envelope, including a discussion on representing specific orbital parameters within the model prediction space.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number