Satellite constellation design algorithm for remote sensing of diurnal cycles phenomena

Sung Wook Paek, Luzius G. Kronig, Anton B. Ivanov, Olivier L. de Weck

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper proposes an algorithm to find the smallest satellite constellation satisfying a given set of Earth observation requirements. This methodology is exemplified with the Satellites Observing Lakes and Vegetation Environments (SOLVE) study, which aims at deploying a fleet of small satellites carrying miniaturized hyperspectral spectrometers. A key requirement of this mission is a high temporal resolution through which the ground target can be observed several times a day. Hourly observations are required in this mission in order to capture diurnal changes in water quality and vegetation environments. Given sensor specifications and observation requirements, the proposed algorithm determines orbital parameters of an optimal constellation design via a semi-analytical approach. This approach reveals trade-offs amongst performance metrics and deployment cost, providing better physical intuition for decision-making compared to stochastic optimization.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2529-2550
    Number of pages22
    JournalAdvances in Space Research
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


    • Diurnal cycles
    • Ecosystems
    • Hyperspectral spectrometer
    • Remote sensing
    • Satellite constellation


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