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Satellite EOL: Not One Size Fits All - Northern Sky Research Jul 2018
"A satellite launched in the 1990s was designed to operate for an average 12 years, a life expectancy that by the 2000s increased to 15 years. Many continue to operate for 18 years or more, but 15 remains the prevailing design life. Yet with operators seeking new strategies in today’s challenging market, and technology advancing at an ever-faster pace, could the 15-year GEO satellite life be a standard of the past?"

"NSR’s Satellite Manufacturing and Launch Services, 8th Edition, found that commercial GEO communications satellites in-orbit today have an average age of 8.9 years. Only 17.2% of current satellites are in the process of being replenished, indicating that a slate of new orders – or decisions to not replace aging satellites – are coming in the next few years."

"Many elements contribute to a satellite reaching EOL or experiencing a reduction in capabilities, but exhaustion of fuel most commonly drives the 15-year design life. As operators increasingly turn to electric propulsion, this driver will ease, enabling satellites to remain in station-kept orbit longer than with chemical designs. A more near-term solution to lengthen satellite lifetimes is to use in-orbit servicing vehicles, either for refueling or as a tug to provide station keeping."

"Interest in short, 7-8-year lifetimes has also emerged."
NSR  market-research  satellite  business  space  GEO 
july 2018 by pierredv
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