Session

Technical Session IV: Global Missions

SSC12-IV-2_presentation.pdf (1934 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

The cost models for return on investment for constellations of large spacecraft providing high quality, high temporal resolution Earth observation data are not currently sustainable. Even with economies of scale, the costs involved in the materials and launch of the spacecraft alone will result in an expensive final product only accessible for customers of considerable means to afford the data. However, advances in the miniaturization of spacecraft systems for high resolution, high quality imagery from nanosatellites/CubeSats make the prospect of constellations of 50+ spacecraft in complimentary orbits an affordable and potentially highly profitable concept. In addition, security, disaster relief and environmental monitoring users, amongst others, desperately need high temporal resolution Earth observation data with global access. Climate change impacts, resource conflict and geopolitically driven cross-border movement, all tax the abilities of remote sensing systems to acquire timely data. Nanosatellites deployed in constellations can offer global coverage from a very low cost package, particularly the CubeSat standard. Further, the availability of low cost imaging equipment (CCDs, COTS optics and deployment mechanisms) has shown that suitable cameras for delivering high resolution can be built in a very small package, compatible with the limited envelope of the CubeSat standard. This paper will discuss the outcomes of two recent studies and the ability of current technologies to provide global awareness in two key Earth observation areas; sub-1m resolution, high resolution visible and near infrared imagery for bushfire early detection. The paper will show that these technologies are not only feasible but could be ready for on-orbit demonstration within the next 2 years.

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Aug 14th, 10:45 AM

Achieving Global Awareness via Advanced Remote Sensing Techniques on 3U CubeSats

The cost models for return on investment for constellations of large spacecraft providing high quality, high temporal resolution Earth observation data are not currently sustainable. Even with economies of scale, the costs involved in the materials and launch of the spacecraft alone will result in an expensive final product only accessible for customers of considerable means to afford the data. However, advances in the miniaturization of spacecraft systems for high resolution, high quality imagery from nanosatellites/CubeSats make the prospect of constellations of 50+ spacecraft in complimentary orbits an affordable and potentially highly profitable concept. In addition, security, disaster relief and environmental monitoring users, amongst others, desperately need high temporal resolution Earth observation data with global access. Climate change impacts, resource conflict and geopolitically driven cross-border movement, all tax the abilities of remote sensing systems to acquire timely data. Nanosatellites deployed in constellations can offer global coverage from a very low cost package, particularly the CubeSat standard. Further, the availability of low cost imaging equipment (CCDs, COTS optics and deployment mechanisms) has shown that suitable cameras for delivering high resolution can be built in a very small package, compatible with the limited envelope of the CubeSat standard. This paper will discuss the outcomes of two recent studies and the ability of current technologies to provide global awareness in two key Earth observation areas; sub-1m resolution, high resolution visible and near infrared imagery for bushfire early detection. The paper will show that these technologies are not only feasible but could be ready for on-orbit demonstration within the next 2 years.