This paper describes a rapid method for validation and visualization of agile Earth-observation satellites scheduling. Benefited from the previous work, various algorithms are proposed for scheduling the observations of agile satellites. However, the satellite maneuvers are three- dimensional, this characteristic makes it difficult for the operation engineers to validate and interpret the scheduled solutions. They have to plot these attitude data to analyze different situations such as an observing phase or a slew maneuver. Finally, one tries to imagine the three-dimensional situations from many one-dimensional plots, which is time-consuming and susceptible to errors. Moreover, now it is low-efficiency to deal with the data about ephemeris, targets, etc., because different software platforms are required. In this research, a validation and visualization method is suggested to overcome this barrier. It is successful to integrate the Satellite Tool Kit ActiveX and the C# programming language. Based on the embedded scheme, all the interaction and assessment can be visualized. Practical techniques for modelling satellite objects, sensor objects, target objects and satellite attitudes are presented. Such a method has been applied for Chinese agile satellites project, and a software interface has been developed. The simulation results indicate that the proposed method is intuitive and efficient. Note that this method is general, and thus it can be applied to other Earth observation missions. Enough details are provided for interested readers to develop the software interface.
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Mingwei Yin is a Ph.D. candidate in Tsinghua University. He received his B.S. degree in engineering science and mechanics from Beihang University, in 2013. His areas of research include attitude control, agile earth observing satellites, space system engineering, and unmanned aerial vehicle.
Hexi Baoyin is a professor from Tsinghua University in China. He received his Ph.D. degree in space system engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology. Currently, he is an AIAA senior member. His research interests include astrodynamics, interplanetary mission analysis, and optimization.
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Yin, M., Li, J., Wang, X. et al. A rapid method for validation and visualization of agile Earth-observation satellites scheduling. Astrodyn 2, 325–337 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42064-018-0026-9
- Agile satellite
- Attitude determination
- Satellite tool kit