Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Anselmo L., Pardini C. Review of medium Earth orbit GNSS constellation configuration, operation, maintenance and disposal [Final version]. Disposal Strategies Analysis for MEO Orbits. Project report ESA 4000107201/12/F/MOS WP110 Final Version, 2015.
This study note reviews the basic orbit parameters and characteristics of the four global navigation satellite constellations operational or planned in medium Earth orbit: GLONASS (Russia), GPS (USA), Beidou-M (China) and Galileo (Europe). The launch history, mission profile, spacecraft lifetime and maintenance strategy are detailed, based on the available literature and open information. The disposal rules applied so far to constellation spacecraft and upper stages are discussed, together with their long-term impact in terms of orbital evolution and possible crossing of the altitudes of the operational satellites. Finally, the average cross section (randomly tumbling) is estimated for some of the spacecraft models of the constellations and the upper stages used to place them in orbit. Spacecraft and upper stage masses, taken from the available literature, are provided as well.
Subject Space Debris
GNSS Constellations
Medium Earth orbits (MEO)
End-of-life disposal
70F15 Celestial mechanics

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