Presented herein is a class of satellite deployment options that exploit ATH (above-the-horizon) viewing by multiple satellites to achieve a significant impact in dim target detection. The deployment options can allow reduction of focal plane complexity and improve the global coverage properties of systems of satellites employing two-color (or two-bandwidth) detectors on a single focal plane. It is shown that six to ten satellites at 10,000 to 20,000 nmi altitude will provide global ATH coverage for target altitudes between 40 and 200 nmi, and that considerable multiple satellite coverage of targets will occur for targets at higher latitude. Exemplary system design applications are discussed.
L. Rider, L. Rider,
"Optimal Orbital Constellations For Global Viewing Of Targets Against A Space Background," Optical Engineering 19(2), 192219 (1 April 1980). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.7972496