THE THEORY OF LATTICE FLOWER FORMATIONS AND ITS APPLICATION TO INTENSITY CORRELATION INTERFEROMETRY
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This paper introduces the theory of Lattice Flower Formations to extend the Flower Constellations theory to design configurations of satellites with small relative distances. To that purpose, a fictitious sphere (orbiting on a circular orbit) is introduced to bound the distances between the formation satellites. Using the Lattice Flower Constellation framework, a variety of formation flying configurations are introduced as Lattice Flower Formations. The bounded sphere allows to compute the eccentricity and inclination of all orbits. The proposed theory can be applied to design a multi-spacecraft systems based on Hyland's intensity correlation interferometry for missions targeting to observe a set of celestial objects in various directions. However, to observe a single object String-of-Pearls are optimal configurations. The optimality consists of maximizing the resolution disk coverage (frequency content) in one orbit period. Genetic algorithms are used to derive the satellite positions to obtain optimal reconstruction of images in terms of frequency content. Numerical tests using LEO satellites are performed for four different images. Comparisons with the Golomb ruler String-of-Pearls configuration is also provided.
author list (cited authors)
Mortari, D., & Hyland, D. C.