Communication satellite reliability is important for various reasons.

From a Reliability & Maintainability (R&M) perspective maintainance is expensive.

Maintenance is expensive as the satellite is in space orbit.

Service Life

The service life is how long the equipment should last.

The equipment in this case is the satellite.

Other types of equipment include satellite ground stations.


Satellite manufacturers often offer service guarantees to their customers.

This forms part of the purchase contract, and gives the buyer confidence that the equipment will perform for the required service period.

Manufacturers need to ensure utmost reliability, and build in redundancy.

What redundancy means is that there is a backup duplicate system component, that can be used if the primary component fails in service.

This maximises communication satellite reliability.


Space debris is an increasing problem in space.

Debris hitting a satellite could cause catastrophic system failure.

The debris is travelling through space at very high speed.

Making the satellite strong enough to withstand an impact is impracticle

It is impracticle due to the additional weight that the protection would make the satellite.

Remember that the satellite has to be launched into space.

Therefore additional weight requires more powerful rockets to launch the satellite into space.

More powerful rockets cost more money.

Integrated Logistics Support

Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) is a key part of satellite reliability.

Published by Craig Miles

Craig Miles

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