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A novel interferometric microwave radiometer concept using satellite formation flight for geostationary atmospheric sounding

A novel interferometric microwave radiometer concept using satellite formation flight for geostationary atmospheric sounding
A novel interferometric microwave radiometer concept using satellite formation flight for geostationary atmospheric sounding
For most Earth observation applications, passive microwave radiometry from the geostationary orbit requires prohibitively large apertures for conventional single-satellite platforms. This article proposes a novel interferometric technique capable of synthesising these apertures using satellite formation flight. The significance of such concept is in its capacity to synthesise microwave apertures of conceptually unconstrained size in space for the first time. The technique is implemented in two formation flight configurations: a formation of a single full-sized satellite with microsatellites, and a formation of several full-sized satellites. Practical advantages and challenges of these configurations are explored by applying them to geostationary atmospheric sounding at 53 GHz, the lowest sounding frequency considered for future sounder concepts GAS, GeoSTAR and GIMS. The two configurations produce apertures of 14.4 m and 28.8 m respectively, and spatial resolution of 16.7 km and 8.3 km respectively from the geostationary orbit. The performance of these interferometers are simulated, and the challenges identified are three-fold. First, inter-satellite ranging in micron-level precision is required. Second, the extremely sparse design suggests further innovation is necessary to improve radiometric resolution. Third, the presence of long baselines suggests extreme decorrelation effects are expected. While the the first requirement has already been demonstrated on ground, the other two remain for future research. This technique can be implemented at arbitrary microwave frequencies and arbitrary circular orbits, meaning it can also be applied to other geostationary applications, or to achieve unprecedented spatial resolution at lower orbits, or to extend the accessible frequencies into lower frequency radio waves.
0196-2892
3487-3498
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 (2018) A novel interferometric microwave radiometer concept using satellite formation flight for geostationary atmospheric sounding. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 56 (6), 3487-3498. (doi:10.1109/TGRS.2018.2800534).

Record type: Article

Abstract

For most Earth observation applications, passive microwave radiometry from the geostationary orbit requires prohibitively large apertures for conventional single-satellite platforms. This article proposes a novel interferometric technique capable of synthesising these apertures using satellite formation flight. The significance of such concept is in its capacity to synthesise microwave apertures of conceptually unconstrained size in space for the first time. The technique is implemented in two formation flight configurations: a formation of a single full-sized satellite with microsatellites, and a formation of several full-sized satellites. Practical advantages and challenges of these configurations are explored by applying them to geostationary atmospheric sounding at 53 GHz, the lowest sounding frequency considered for future sounder concepts GAS, GeoSTAR and GIMS. The two configurations produce apertures of 14.4 m and 28.8 m respectively, and spatial resolution of 16.7 km and 8.3 km respectively from the geostationary orbit. The performance of these interferometers are simulated, and the challenges identified are three-fold. First, inter-satellite ranging in micron-level precision is required. Second, the extremely sparse design suggests further innovation is necessary to improve radiometric resolution. Third, the presence of long baselines suggests extreme decorrelation effects are expected. While the the first requirement has already been demonstrated on ground, the other two remain for future research. This technique can be implemented at arbitrary microwave frequencies and arbitrary circular orbits, meaning it can also be applied to other geostationary applications, or to achieve unprecedented spatial resolution at lower orbits, or to extend the accessible frequencies into lower frequency radio waves.

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More information

Submitted date: 9 March 2017
Accepted/In Press date: 14 January 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 March 2018
Published date: 22 May 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417976
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417976
ISSN: 0196-2892
PURE UUID: 6cac1d68-e0a7-486d-9277-14e41be581e5
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: 19 Feb 2018 17:32
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 05:19

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