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TitleObserving polar regions from space: comparison between highly elliptical orbit and medium earth orbit constellations
AuthorTrishchenko, A P; Garand, L; Trichtchenko, L D
SourceJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology vol. 36, 2019 p. 1605-1621, https://doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-19-0030.1 (Open Access)
Year2019
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20190018
PublisherAmerican Meteorological Society
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®)
ProvinceCanada; British Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut
NTS1; 2; 3; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 82; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
AreaArctic; Antarctic
Lat/Long WENS-180.0000 180.0000 90.0000 45.0000
Lat/Long WENS-180.0000 180.0000 -45.0000 -90.0000
Subjectsgeophysics; Science and Technology; remote sensing; satellites; satellite imagery; meteorology; latitude; satellite orbits; continuous coverage; polar regions; communications; data acquisition; radiation
Illustrationssketch maps; schematic representations; graphs; tables; plots
ProgramMethodology, Remote Sensing Science
Released2019 08 13
AbstractContinuous observation of polar regions from space remains an important unsolved technical challenge of great interest for the international meteorological community. This capacity would allow achieving global continuous coverage once combined with the geostationary (GEO) satellite network. From a practical point of view, continuous coverage of polar regions with a small number of spacecraft can be obtained from a constellation of satellites either in highly elliptical orbits (HEO) or in medium Earth orbits (MEO). The study compares HEO and MEO satellite constellations for their capacity to provide continuous imaging of polar regions as function of the viewing zenith angle (VZA) and evaluates the corresponding latitude limits that ensure sufficient overlap with GEO imagery. Earlier studies assumed the latitude boundary of 608 and the VZA range 708-858 depending on the space mission focus: meteorological purposes or communications. From the detailed analysis of meteorological retrieval requirements, this study suggests that the overlap of the GEO and polar observing systems (HEO or MEO) should occur down to the latitude band 458-508 with a maximum VZA ranging between 608 and 648. This coverage requirement can be met with two sets of three-satellite HEO constellations (one for each polar area) or a six-satellite MEO constellation. The 12-hMolniya and 14-, 15-, and 16-h HEO systems have been analyzed and determined to meet these revised requirements. The study demonstrates that the six-satellite 24-h MEO system can provide a suitable solution, which is also beneficial from the point of view of ionizing radiation and image acquisition geometry. Among the HEO systems, the 16-h HEO has some advantages relative to other HEO systems from the point of view of spatial coverage and space radiation.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Continuous observation of polar regions including Canadian Arctic from space remains an important unsolved technical challenge of great interest for the international community. This capacity would allow achieving global continuous coverage once combined with the geostationary satellite network. From a practical point of view, continuous coverage of polar regions with a small number of spacecraft can be obtained either from a constellation of satellites on a Highly Elliptical Orbit or Medium Earth Orbit. The study compares these satellite constellations for their capacity to provide continuous imaging of polar regions as function of the viewing zenith angle and evaluates the corresponding latitude limits that ensure sufficient overlap with the geostationary imagery. This study determined that the 12-h, 14-h, 15-h and 16-h highly elliptical systems, as well as the 24-h medium orbit constellation can meet requirements.
GEOSCAN ID314613