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Chern R.J.-S.,China University of Science and Technology | Huang C.-M.,China University of Science and Technology | Wu A.-M.,National Space Organization SF
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2012

Taiwan's Formosa Satellite Number 3 (FORMOSAT-3 or FS3) is a 6-satellite constellation observing system for meteorology, ionosphere, and climate (COSMIC). It is known as FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC internationally. Its 6 microsatellites were deployed at 72 deg orbital inclination and 800 km altitude for the acquisition of occultation data of the global positioning system (GPS) signal. NSPO is planning the future program and designates FS7 to be the follow-on of FS3. Two major indexes to assess the performance of FS3/7 type constellations: Maximization of daily data acquisition and evenness in global data distribution. From system simulation, the number of data acquisition of the current FS3 is 2,415. However, the number can be increased to 3,050 by changing the inclination to 154 deg, and further increased to 3,286 by changing the altitude to 500 km. The defect is that there is no data beyond 45 deg latitude north/south. After trade-off, the optimal configuration is a 3-2-1 combination with 3 satellites deployed at 154 deg inclination, 2 at 108 deg, and 1 at 90 deg. Daily data acquisition is 3,158 using this configuration. This 3-2-1 configuration is not a standard one like the "Walker" or "Draim" or "Ballard" constellations. It is called the "hybrid constellation" temporarily. Copyright © (2012) by the International Astronautical Federation.

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