On Design of Satellite Constellation For Continuous Observation Of Earth Polar Regions

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Thursday, 8 January 2015: 8:30 AM
230 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Alexander P. Trishchenko, Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Ottawa, ON, Canada; and L. Garand, L. Trichtchenko, and L. Nikitina

The current satellite observing system cannot achieve continuous temporal coverage of the Polar Regions. We considered several concepts how to close this gap. Details of possible solutions based on Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation, Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) constellation and Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) constellation are discussed. Advantages and problems for each orbital solution are analyzed. Spatial and temporal coverage as well as the ionizing radiation environment for suitable orbital configurations are assessed. Our analysis suggests that the HEO system has certain advantages with regards to LEO and MEO constellations as it allows achieving quasi-geostationary views of each Earth polar region with only two satellites for each hemisphere. The selection of spectral bands is discussed to optimize the opportunities for remote sensing of the polar environment from passive measurements in solar and thermal domains.