The informative page shows that the RCM satellites are intended to orbit as follows:

Sun-synchronous circular orbit (dawn-dusk mission), nominal altitude = 592.7 km, inclination = 97.74º, period = 96.4 minutes. The three spacecraft will be spaced at equal distances on the same orbital plane (120º apart) with a repeat cycle of 179 orbits/12days. The orbit selection allows revisiting the same area for coherent change detection every four days, which should enable a whole suite of interferometric applications.

The satellites will be equally spaced in the same orbital plane, following each other with a time separation of ~32 minutes.

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Since the satellites were deployed in a single launch as asked about in this question Why does the F9 second stage roll back and forth during deployment of each RADARSAT satellite?, how do they achieve this orbital spacing?

I'm looking for an authoritative answer backed up by references, not speculative "probably" or "potentially" worded answers.

  • $\begingroup$ So you're looking for a precise plan for propulsive maneuvers of the three satellites? In the end it should be as simple as accelerating by ~10 m/s and waiting a couple of days.... $\endgroup$
    – asdfex
    Jun 27, 2019 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ I seriously doubt you'd get access to the maneuvering plan/report that the operation team develops. And that would be the only truly "authoritative" answer you could get. But then, why do you need to do that? An option you have downloading TLEs for both satellites from launch until they're in their final orbit. This should allow testing some hypothesis. The basic one being that they'll probably launch the satellites with different semi-major axes, which cause a phasing difference, and upon orbit correction, they'll maneuver into the final orbit. $\endgroup$
    – Mefitico
    Aug 5, 2019 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ Then again, an autonomous orbit maintenance system could achieve whatever final orbit by doing its thing. You'd see that by noting slow changes in the TLE's mean motion field. Either case, it wouldn't be conclusive. $\endgroup$
    – Mefitico
    Aug 5, 2019 at 20:16


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