OSSAT Download: Synthetic Aperture Radar Concept of Operations
We are continuing our Concept of Operations series with the release of our Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Concept of Operations (CONOPs) which describes what a SAR payload would require of the Open Source Satellite (OSSAT) platform in order to complete its mission.
Space-based SAR Missions and Applications
Space-based Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is a remote sensing technique which is capable of providing 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional reconstructed images of target areas on the ground and has wide applications for remote sensing and mapping of the Earth's surfaces. SAR is an active observation technique whereby a large antenna on a satellite simultaneously emits and receives microwaves. As the transmitted microwaves reflect off of the ground, the received echoes provide amplitude and phase data which can be used to reconstruct images. As SAR operates using microwaves transmitted by the satellite and is not reliant on the sun's illumination, it can conduct imaging both during the day and night and is capable of penetrating cloud cover and adverse weather conditions which would make traditional Earth Observation (EO) techniques less effective.
SAR is a particularly demanding application for the OSSAT platform to service. It requires a high level of attitude control and stability which is complicated by the need for a large deployable antenna which can affect spacecraft dynamics. A SAR payload also has a very high peak power requirement, which limits the duration of imaging that can be conducted for each orbit. As the power requirement of the application is so high, SAR payloads also produce a large amount of heat which must be dissipated using radiator surfaces on the satellite.
Click to download your copy of the OSSAT SAR CONOPs
Other Concepts of Operations in our OSSAT CONOPs series
We will continue to release CONOPs documents for the different applications we intend the OSSAT to be capable of servicing. The next release will focus on the needs of an Orbital Manoeuvering Vehicle (OMV), a type of space tug that carries other satellites and deploys them into their desired orbits.
We'd love to hear your thoughts about the OSSAT SAR CONOPs:
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