Is There a Future for Geo-Based Weather Monitoring? the Coverage-Cost Argument
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© 2018 IEEE Both ESA/Eumetsat and NASA/NOAA have had a GEO and a polar component of space-based operational weather monitoring for decades. However, constellations of a few dozen small satellites in LEO can now provide sub-hour revisit times similar to those achieved from GEO and better spatial resolution than GEO for the same cost as a large GEO satellite. On the other hand, the large instruments typically used for GEO-based monitoring must be broken down into components in order to be allocated to smaller satellites. This paper describes a methodology to systematically study this large and rich architecture space and discuss under what circumstances and for what purposes a GEO component may still be superior to LEO. The focus is on coverage-cost tradeoffs, whereas other important considerations are left for future work.
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