TECHNICAL MECHANICS
ISSN (Print): 1561-9184, ISSN (Online): 2616-6380

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UDC 629.78

Technical mechanics, 2020, 3, 39 - 53

GLOBAL TRENDS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF LOW-ORBIT SPACE SYSTEMS FOR OPTOELECTRONIC EARTH OBSERVATION

Volosheniuk O. L.

      ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Volosheniuk O. L.
Institute of Technical Mechanics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the State Space Agency of Ukraine

      ABSTRACT

      The aim of this work is to identify the global trends in the use of low-orbit spacecraft constellations, which have a number of substantial advantages in Earth remote sensing (ERS). Much attention is given to the construction of large constellations of single- and different-type spacecraft by foreign companies and operators, such as Digital Globe, Planet Labs, Black Sky, Satellogic S.A. etc., and to the plans of deployment of constellations of this type in the USA, China, Japan, Canada, Europe, and other countries. The characteristics of the various, mainly commercial, low-orbit constellations of optoelectronic Earth observation spacecraft put into orbit over the past five years are considered. It is shown that low-orbit spacecraft constellations can be used to good advantage in the solution of numerous socio-economic problems, such as geodesy and cartography, urban development, transport infrastructure, crop estimate, environmental monitoring, health monitoring, etc., and new problems aimed at prompt continuous monitoring of various objects. The paper presents a comparative analysis of the technical implementations and ways of achievement of the main target spacecraft characteristics, such as information performance, capture range, revisit time, geodetic connection accuracy, imaging immediacy, and the possibility of stereo and video imaging by satellite constellations. It is shown that the construction of large low-orbit constellations is a new trend in the world astronautics, which requires systematic methods for their design and control. The results obtained allows one to make recommendations on the design of low-orbit constellations of home ERS spacecraft, in particular on the development of orbit determination models and algorithms and spacecraft dynamics models.
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      KEYWORDS

Earth remote sensing, low-orbit spacecraft constellation, optoelectronic observation system, spatial resolution, information performance, immediacy

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