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Design and user applications of a low-cost satellite constellation for global daily imaging revisit

By Lee Boland


There are many varied sources of satellite Earth Observation and Remote Sensing data currently in-orbit. However, in general there is a distinct lack of rapid-response data for timely application. This is particularly of value in disaster situations where the value of information rapidly falls as time progresses after the event. Micro-satellite constellations, with their low-cost and low launch costs provide a potential affordable solution to the issue of data timeliness. This researchp roject, supportedb y Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, addressesth e problem of data timeliness through the development of a solution for a micro-satellite constellation to give global daily imaging revisit opportunities at a Ground Sample Distance of 30-40m in Red, Green and Near Infra-Red bands. This thesis reviews existing Earth Observation capabilities to highlight the niche that exists for this mission. It then describes the development of the mission and spacecraft system solution as well as ground segment characteristics. The spacecraft and mission design is taken from a conceptual phase to launch and validation via in-orbit operations. This is the first micro-satellite constellation for Earth Observation, and the first microsatellite solution to addresst he rapid-responsep roblem. Research into potential applications for the image data is also presented, focussing in particular on disaster management applications. Wildfire management applications and flood monitoring are considered in most detail, whilst other potential application areas are addressed in brief. This research clearly indicates that there is much potential for the DMC imagery to add value, over and above the current available Earth Observation data sources, to a number of applications. It is noted that further work should be performed to validate the use of DMC data in any given application

Publisher: Cranfield University
Year: 2004
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

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