15 November 2000 Six-Hour Orbit toward West Satellite (SHOWS)
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SHOWS is a satellite placed on the circular orbit with the inclination of 18Odeg and the radius of 20,320 km. Its mission is to take infrared imageries of clouds, similar to those taken from the present geo-stationary meteorological satellites. Although its distance to the earth' s surface is 40% of that of the geo-stationary orbit, it is well enough to view the earth as a whole. The radiometer scans the earth along the meridian including the sub-satellite point, and the instantaneous geometric field of view (IGFOV) at the sub-satellite point is a circle with the diameter of 4 km. The concept was derived from our experiences in the present world' s meteorological satellite system and is intended to complement the system by adding 2 such satellites, each placed opposite to the other relative to the earth. It can be launched from Japan by an H-IIA launch vehicle, with the initial injected orbit identical to the geo-stationary transfer orbit (GTO). The radiometer serves not only for the imaging mission but also for the high accuracy attitude determination, by optically sensing the earth's east and west horizons, and stars. The orbit is unexplored yet and poses a radiation concern. As much excess weight as available will be expended to shield semiconductors against the radiation. The sensor data will be sent to the earth with 30kbps. This very low data rate, together with the simple ground antenna mounted only on a single motor will facilitate the direct reception of data by users. A highly integrated data handling system using the Internet has also been conceived.
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Akira Kikuchi, Atsuo Tsuiki, Jun-ichi Aoyama, Masaru Hiramatsu, Takeshi Ono, and Mizuho Ikeda "Six-Hour Orbit toward West Satellite (SHOWS)", Proc. SPIE 4135, Earth Observing Systems V, (15 November 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.494244; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.494244


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