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  • Author or Editor: Larisa D. Trichtchenko x
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Alexander P. Trishchenko
,
Louis Garand
,
Larisa D. Trichtchenko
, and
Lidia V. Nikitina

Abstract

A novel type of multiple-apogee highly elliptical orbits termed as MAP HEO with a period of rotation between 14 h and 15 h is introduced. These orbits are designed to achieve continuous geostationary (GEO)-like imaging of the polar regions in an optimum way. The combination of GEO and HEO satellites would then offer continuous monitoring of weather from space at any point of the globe. This capacity would represent a breakthrough for short- and long-term weather forecasting and narrowing uncertainties in the knowledge of the Earth’s climate through better sampling and more accurate characterization of the diurnal cycle. MAP HEO systems can be launched at critical inclination and are characterized by a local minimum of ionizing radiation. These features simplify the process of orbit maintenance, reduce radiation shielding requirements, and favor a longer lifetime of the mission. Unlike previously considered HEO systems implemented for communications, such as 12-h Molniya and 24-h Sirius radio systems, a MAP HEO constellation achieves a uniform geometrical sampling, which reduces view angle dependent biases. These observational conditions with complete coverage of the diurnal cycle, diverse range of solar illumination, and viewing observational conditions are beneficial for high-latitude meteorological and climate applications, such as the retrieval of Essential Climate Variables (ECV).

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