Optimization of Ground Station Locations for Coverage of a Satellite Constellation

  • Ahmed Bushlaibi

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    Satellites' ground station site selection is a multifaceted problem that requires assessing various elements from distinct perspectives. This research aims to pick suitable candidate locations for the ground station using Multi-Criteria Decision Making incorporated with Geographical Information System. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), the space hub in the Arabian Gulf, has been the study area in this research, where consideration of various technical and non-technical factors (roads, buildings, elevation, slope, military bases, communication towers, metrological stations, and airports) to find the site's suitability. These variables were assessed via the Analytical Hierarchy Process approach to generate the weights of the criteria layers. Consequently, the most suitable sites for ground stations are in the southwest areas of the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, to increase the study's robustness, the field of view from the selected locations was evaluated using an ArcGIS tool called the 'Skyline Tool.' Analyzing the field of the site of the location enhances the accuracy and the effectiveness of the methodology. The Skyline analysis is useful when selecting the site for ground station tracking for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. However, implementing the proposed methodology is beneficial for the initial selection of ground station candidate sites. However, after performing various field tests such as radio frequency interference test and estimation of the elevation angles, the final ground station location is selected.
    Date of AwardMay 2021
    Original languageAmerican English


    • Site Suitability
    • Ground Station
    • GIS
    • Skyline Tool
    • Multi-Criteria Decision Making.

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