A Cost-Effective Imaging Satellite Constellation


Wu A. M.

National Space Organization, Taiwan

e-mail: amwu@nspo.org.tw


Imaging satellites utilize optical, infrared, or radar sensors to conduct the Earth observations, which are now extensively applied to our daily life. In the beginning we considered one-satellite mission, which is required to implement with high-resolution sensors, short revisit cycle, and global coverage. Now we considered mission conducted with multiple satellites, which may be operated by same or different countries, to increase the spatial coverage and to reduce the revisit cycle. Equatorial coverage can be achieved with multiple satellites, but the polar coverage can be done with a large field of regard. Daily revisit and global coverage can be both satisfied by selection of affordable number of satellites with certain field of regard. When taking into account operation complexity and polar coverage, it is recommended to use a constellation with shorter repeat cycle and large field of regard. One can also combine it with an equatorial orbit of 0-deg inclination or a polar orbit of 90-deg inclination.


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