Fundamentals of the route theory for satellite constellation design for Earth discontinuous coverage. Part 2: Synthesis of satellite orbits and constellations
The method for synthesis of satellite orbits and constellations, optimized by given criterion (minimum of required number of satellites in the constellation, or minimum revisit time, or minimum of the satellites' swath width required) for fixed parameters of on-board satellite equipment and constraints for unused criterion parameters of a list of mentioned above is presented. The numerical results demonstrate the possibilities of the method developed basing on analyzing the given satellite constellation revisit time values distributed on the Earth coverage area, and for synthesizing the satellite constellations to minimize revisit time in comparison with the traditional approaches based on constellation design in a priori fixed classes used for continuous coverage. Particularly, it is shown that the suggested synthesis method, basing on the simplest type of Route Constellations considered Secure Route Constellations, directly leads, as result of high speed calculations for given Earth region coverage (seconds, or minutes as a worst case), to the optimized satellite constellations which provide consistently high performance and are better, or at least on the same level, in comparison with the best Walker constellations for discontinuous coverage. In order to have comprehensive coverage picture, both deterministic, and stochastic approaches are considered for estimation of the coverage characteristics of the given region of arbitrary shape, basing on the results of Earth coverage analytic emulation. (C) 2016 IAA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.