Time distributions in satellite constellation design
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The aim of the time distribution methodology presented in this paper is to generate constellations whose satellites share a set of relative trajectories in a given time, and maintain that property over time without orbit corrections. The model takes into account a series of orbital perturbations such as the gravitational potential of the Earth, the atmospheric drag, the Sun and the Moon as disturbing third bodies and the solar radiation pressure. These perturbations are included in the design process of the constellation. Moreover, the whole methodology allows to design constellations with multiple relative trajectories that can be distributed in a minimum number of inertial orbits.
KeywordsSatellite constellations Formation flying Orbital perturbations Orbit design
The work of D. Arnas, D. Casanova and E. Tresaco was supported by the research project with reference CUD2015–02 at Centro Universitario de la Defensa Zaragoza. This work was also supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Project no. ESP2013–44217– R) and the Research Group E48: GME.
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