I am designing a LEO constellation (altitudes between 300-600 to be more specific) for a term project and i have some issues. My goal is to design a satellite constellation which takes images of a location on earth as close as possible to 1 hour time interval.

Currently my setup is like this:

  • altitude 350 km, inclination 96.5 degrees to achieve sun synchronous orbit.

  • 6 orbital planes which are 30 degrees apart from each other.

  • each plane has 3 satellites which are 120 degrees apart from each other

so i have 18 satellites in total.

I used this setup on STK, pick a point on earth, used 7 day for calculation interval. I calculated elevation angles for that point on each passes left me only with a few results which are not even close to my goal.

So what i am asking is:

  • To achieve my goal, what are things i need to consider while determining orbital parameters.

Number of satellites is not limited to 18. Only limiting factor is altitude and interval between passing from same spot by any of the satellites.

I am not expecting a full solution but if you direct me to the right direction i will be very happy.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Please clarify your objective function. Are you trying to image a particular location on earth every hour on the hour or do you want revisit of the entire earth at that rate? What constraints did you set on elevation / off-nadir angle? You're almost never going to fly directly above any particular point and at 350 km the field-of-regard is going to be very small for even large off-nadir angles. Your current constellation is less useful than being super clear about what you're trying to achieve. $\endgroup$ – Adam Wuerl Apr 13 '15 at 1:03
  • $\begingroup$ You might want to have a look at flower constellations but I second Adam's request that you edit to clarify your question. Please do so. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – TildalWave Apr 13 '15 at 11:01

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