A Model to Assess the Mars Telecommunications Network Relay Robustness

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A. R. Girerd; L. Meshkat; C. D. Edwards Jr.; C. H. Lee (2006), JBIS, 59, 443-449

Refcode: 2006.59.443
Keywords: Mars network, telecommunications robustness, proximity link service

The relatively long mission durations and compatible radio protocols of current and projected Mars orbiters have enabled the gradual development of a heterogeneous constellation providing proximity communication services for surface assets. The current and forecasted capability of this evolving network has reached the point that designers of future surface missions consider complete dependence on it. Such designers, along with those architecting network requirements, have a need to understand the robustness of projected communication service. A model has been created to identify the robustness of the Mars Network as a function of surface location and time. Due to the decade-plus time horizon considered, the network will evolve, with emerging productive nodes and nodes that cease or fail to contribute. The model is a flexible framework to holistically process node information into measures of capability robustness that can be visualized for maximum understand- ing. Outputs from JPL's Telecom Orbit Analysis Simulation Tool (TOAST) provide global telecom performance parameters for current and projected orbiters. Probabilistic estimates of orbiter fuel life are derived from orbit keeping burn rates, forecasted maneuver tasking, and anomaly resolution budgets. Orbiter reliability is estimated probabilistically. A flexible scheduling framework accommodates the projected mission queue as well as potential alterations.

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