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Proceedings Paper

Feasibility of a low-cost optical surveillance satellite
Author(s): Kotska Wallace; Paul Brooks
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Paper Abstract

The Defence Evaluation Research Agency (DERA) have coordinated a UK feasibility study in to a low-cost, optical remote sensing satellite invovling DERA Space, Surrey Satellite Technology LTD. (SSTL), Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) and Matra Marconi Space, sponsored jointly by UK MoD and British National Space Centre. The main aim is to demonstrate the ability to provide useful imagery, to the point of use, quickly, if possible in near real time. To achieve this a design for a low cost satellite, which could obtain 2.5 m resolution imagery form 600 km altitude, is posed which will demonstrate a low cost progression to a 1 m capability. Time delay integration by satellite maneuver is used to increase dwell time and thereby SNR; satellite rotation in all 3 axis is required. An optical design for the telescope is outlined which uses 3 mirrors in an off- axis configuration. A modified, but pre-existing, microsatellite bus/structure can support the instrument. Target budget for build of a demonstration satellite is 16 million dollars. Low cost would allow a constellation of such satellites to provide high resolution imagery with high timeliness. The design of a communications system is an integral part of the sty. The satellite should provide an indication of the capability and cost of providing 1 m resolution imagery using a similar approach.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 1999
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3750, Earth Observing Systems IV, (24 September 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.363519
Show Author Affiliations
Kotska Wallace, Defence Evaluation and Research Agency Farnborough (United Kingdom)
Paul Brooks, Defence Evaluation and Research Agency Farnborough (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3750:
Earth Observing Systems IV
William L. Barnes, Editor(s)

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