Section 2: Constellation Models

The megaconstellations are defined as a series of shells or `elements' each with a fixed height and inclination and a given number of orbital planes and number of satellites per plane.

Some elements are similar in height, and for my analysis I find it easier to group the elements into `layers'. I define (arbitrarily) three layers for each constellation, usually based on altitude. The idea is that in the simulation results one can then see the relative contributions of the different layers; three seems about the right number, more would be too confusing.

See the old constellation models based on 2019-2020 filings


Here are the 4 main constellations known in detail as of mid 2021, for a total of 52600 satellites. So far (Oct 2021) 2113 have been launched, i.e. 4 percent. The revised Gen 2 proposal was filed in Aug 2021; as of Sep 2021 I have not run models for it yet.

MODEL II: Starlink Constellation, Modified Gen 1 (Apr 2020 Filing, 4408 satellites)

I will refer to this as 'Gen1'.


Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A 1 (Group 1) 550 53.0 72 22 1584
B 2 (Group 2) 570 70.0 36 20 720
C 3 (Group 3?) 560 97.6 6 58 348
A 4 (Group 4) 540 53.2 72 22 1584
C 5 560 97.6 4 43 172

MODEL III-B: Starlink Constellation, Modified Gen 2 Config 1 (Aug 2021 Filing, 30000 satellites)


Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A 1 340 53.0 48 110 5280
A 2 345 46.0 48 110 5280
A 3 350 38.0 48 110 5280
A 4 360 96.9 30 120 3600
B 5 525 53.0 28 120 3360
B 6 530 43.0 28 120 3360
B 7 535 33.0 28 120 3360
C 8 604 148.0 12 12 144
C 9 614 115.7 18 18 324

MODEL VB: (KP2) Kuiper Constellation (Nov 2021 filing, 7774 satellites)


Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A (Ka/V) 1 590 33.0 28 28 784
A (Ku/V) 2 590 33.0 28 28 784
B (Ka/V) 3 610 42.0 36 36 1296
B (Ku/V) 4 610 42.0 36 36 1296
C (Ka/V) 5 630 51.9 34 34 1156
C (Ku/V) 6 630 51.9 34 34 1156
D (Ku/V) 7 640 72.0 652 1 652
E (Ku/V) 8 650 80.0 325 2 650


MODEL VI: (OW2R) OneWeb Constellation (2021 revision, 6372 satellites)


Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A 1 1200 87.9 36 49 1764
B 2 1200 40.0 32 72 2304
C 3 1200 55.0 32 72 2304


MODEL VII: (GW) Chinese Guangwang Constellation (2021 revision, 12992 satellites)

Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A 1 590 85.0 16 30 480
A 2 600 50.0 40 50 2000
A 3 508 55.0 60 60 3600
B 4 1145 30.0 48 36 1728
B 5 1145 40.0 48 36 1728
B 6 1145 50.0 48 36 1728
B 7 1145 60.0 48 36 1728


Nov 2021 V-Band Proposals


Astra (13620 satellites)

Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A (1.0 Eq) 1 700 0.0 1 40 40
B (2.0 SSO) 2 690 98.0 14 36 504
B (2.0 Med-I) 3 700 55.0 56 23 1792
C (3.0 SSO) 4 380 97.0 20 112 2240
C (3.0 Low-I) 5 390 30.0 51 96 4896
C (3.0 Med-I) 6 400 55.0 61 68 4148


Boeing (5921 satellites)

Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A 1 1056 54.0 11 12 132
B 1 670 82.9 20 30 600
B 2 680 54.9 40 35 1400
B 3 690 37.9 46 34 1564
C 4 1040 37.2 28 30 840
C 5 1070 48.8 35 28 980
C 6 1085 79.9 11 26 286
D 7 9000 0.0 1 39 39
D 8 10000 41.2 10 8 80


Telesat Lightspeed (Canada) (1969 satellites)

Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A (Global) 1 1015 99.0 6 13 78
A (Global) 2 1325 50.9 20 11 220
B (Augmented) 3 1015 99.0 27 13 351
B (Augmented) 4 1325 50.9 40 33 1320


Hughes Network Systems HVNET (1440 satellites)

Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A 1 1150 55.0 36 40 1440


Inmarsat ORCHESTRA (UK) (198 satellites)

Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A 1 1023.5 50.0 10 18 180
B 2 724 0.0 1 18 18


Intelsat ODYSSEY MEO (216 satellites)

Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A 1 8600 47.0 6 12 72
A 2 8600 62.9 6 12 72
A 3 8600 89.0 6 12 72


Spin Launch/SN Space Systems (UK) (1190 satellites)

Note: proposes to use implausible 'spin launch' centrifuge as first stage of launch vehicle.

Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A 1 830 55.0 1190 1 1190


Cinnamon-937 (Rwanda/G. Wyler) (327320 satellites)

Layer Element Altitude Inclination No of planes Sats per plane Total sats
(km) (deg)
A 1 550.0 0.0 1 360 360
A 2 551.9 24.0 36 360 12960
A 3 555.5 27.0 36 360 12960
A 4 559.1 30.0 36 360 12960
A 5 562.7 33.0 36 360 12960
A 6 566.3 36.0 36 360 12960
A 7 569.9 39.0 36 360 12960
A 8 573.5 42.0 36 360 12960
A 9 577.1 45.0 36 360 12960
A 10 580.7 48.0 36 360 12960
A 11 584.3 51.0 36 360 12960
A 12 587.9 54.0 36 360 12960
A 13 591.5 57.0 36 360 12960
A 14 595.1 60.0 36 360 12960
A 15 598.7 63.0 36 360 12960
A 16 602.3 66.0 36 360 12960
A 17 605.9 69.0 36 360 12960
A 18 609.5 72.0 36 360 12960
A 19 613.1 75.0 36 360 12960
A 20 616.7 78.0 36 360 12960
A 21 616.7 81.0 36 360 12960
A 22 620.3 84.0 36 360 12960
A 23 623.9 87.0 36 360 12960
A 24 627.5 90.0 36 360 12960
A 25 631.1 93.0 36 360 12960
A 26 634.7 96.0 36 360 12960
A 27 638.3 98.0 36 360 12960


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