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A novel approach to microwave interferometric radiometry in the geostationary orbit using formation flight

A novel approach to microwave interferometric radiometry in the geostationary orbit using formation flight
A novel approach to microwave interferometric radiometry in the geostationary orbit using formation flight
A novel technique for Earth-observation microwave interferometric radiometry using satellite formation flight is presented. The concept allows large apertures of unprecedented sizes to be synthesised by means of antennas mounted on several free-flying platforms performing interferometry. The size of the synthesised aperture is determined by the furthest distance between the free-flying satellites. The concept is applicable to wide range of microwave frequencies, meaning that the large aperture may be applied to achieve unprecedented spatial resolution, to extend Earth observation radiometry to unprecedented long wavelengths, or to enable radiometry in the geostationary orbit. Two such concepts are presented, and as an example they are applied to geostationary radiometry at 10 GHz. The first concept employs a rotating Y-shaped interferometric radiometer in formation with a constellation of nine free-flying microsatellites. The effective diameter of the synthesised aperture is 14.4m, which produces a spatial resolution of 79.5 km at 10 GHz from the geostationary orbit. The total mass of the constellation can be within 2 tonnes, which may be deployed on a single launch vehicle. The second concept is a constellation of six formation-flying radiometers, which produce apertures of 28.8m, and produces a spatial resolution of 39.8 km at 10 GHz. While this configuration is capable of producing larger effective apertures, the total mass can exceed 5 tonnes, and may require multiple launches and rendezvous at the operational orbit. Both of these concepts can be scaled up for larger apertures, and are bound primarily by the number of satellites deployable in the constellation. The free-flying nature of the concept means they are susceptible to interferometric performance degradation by array deformation. The effect of deviation on the radiometric resolution is explored and found, concluding that deviation as small as 0.1lambda can lead to performance degradation of up to 20 K. Annual Delta V required to maintain such constellations are also found at up to 2.23 m/s annually.
Earth observation, Microwave radiometry, Interferometry, Satellite Formation Flight, Mission Concept
Sugihara El Maghraby, Ahmed Kiyoshi
2908d60c-5467-460b-b1a4-b76ea694f453
Grubisic, Angelo
a4cab763-bbc0-4130-af65-229ae674e8c8
Colombo, Camilla
595ced96-9494-40f2-9763-ad4a0f96bc86
Tatnall, Adrian
2c9224b6-4faa-4bfd-9026-84e37fa6bdf3
Sugihara El Maghraby, Ahmed Kiyoshi
2908d60c-5467-460b-b1a4-b76ea694f453
Grubisic, Angelo
a4cab763-bbc0-4130-af65-229ae674e8c8
Colombo, Camilla
595ced96-9494-40f2-9763-ad4a0f96bc86
Tatnall, Adrian
2c9224b6-4faa-4bfd-9026-84e37fa6bdf3

Sugihara El Maghraby, Ahmed Kiyoshi, Grubisic, Angelo, Colombo, Camilla and Tatnall, Adrian (2016) A novel approach to microwave interferometric radiometry in the geostationary orbit using formation flight. 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2016), Mexico. 26 - 30 Sep 2016. 14 pp .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

A novel technique for Earth-observation microwave interferometric radiometry using satellite formation flight is presented. The concept allows large apertures of unprecedented sizes to be synthesised by means of antennas mounted on several free-flying platforms performing interferometry. The size of the synthesised aperture is determined by the furthest distance between the free-flying satellites. The concept is applicable to wide range of microwave frequencies, meaning that the large aperture may be applied to achieve unprecedented spatial resolution, to extend Earth observation radiometry to unprecedented long wavelengths, or to enable radiometry in the geostationary orbit. Two such concepts are presented, and as an example they are applied to geostationary radiometry at 10 GHz. The first concept employs a rotating Y-shaped interferometric radiometer in formation with a constellation of nine free-flying microsatellites. The effective diameter of the synthesised aperture is 14.4m, which produces a spatial resolution of 79.5 km at 10 GHz from the geostationary orbit. The total mass of the constellation can be within 2 tonnes, which may be deployed on a single launch vehicle. The second concept is a constellation of six formation-flying radiometers, which produce apertures of 28.8m, and produces a spatial resolution of 39.8 km at 10 GHz. While this configuration is capable of producing larger effective apertures, the total mass can exceed 5 tonnes, and may require multiple launches and rendezvous at the operational orbit. Both of these concepts can be scaled up for larger apertures, and are bound primarily by the number of satellites deployable in the constellation. The free-flying nature of the concept means they are susceptible to interferometric performance degradation by array deformation. The effect of deviation on the radiometric resolution is explored and found, concluding that deviation as small as 0.1lambda can lead to performance degradation of up to 20 K. Annual Delta V required to maintain such constellations are also found at up to 2.23 m/s annually.

Text
IAC-16,B1,2,8,x33950 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 8 September 2016
Published date: 26 September 2016
Venue - Dates: 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2016), Mexico, 2016-09-26 - 2016-09-30
Keywords: Earth observation, Microwave radiometry, Interferometry, Satellite Formation Flight, Mission Concept
Organisations: Aeronautics, Astronautics & Comp. Eng, Astronautics Group, Education Hub

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 408042
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/408042
PURE UUID: aaa5e188-03a2-4b4e-b5f6-56fd47497aac
ORCID for Ahmed Kiyoshi Sugihara El Maghraby: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9183-1317
ORCID for Camilla Colombo: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9636-9360

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 May 2017 01:05
Last modified: 15 Aug 2019 01:02

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