Journal of Astronautics ›› 2022, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (9): 1163-1175.doi: 10.3873/j.issn.1000-1328.2022.09.004

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Design Method for Even fold Continuous coverage Walker Constellation

GONG Yupeng, ZHANG Shijie   

  1. 1. Research Center of Satellite Technology, School of Astronautics, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150080, China; 2. Department of Mathematics and Theories, Peng Cheng Laboratory, Shenzhen 518055, China
  • Received:2022-04-12 Revised:2022-06-10 Online:2022-09-15 Published:2022-09-15

Abstract: Aiming at the configuration design of even fold continuous coverage Walker constellation, a design method based on the street of coverage theory is proposed. Firstly, for a special case that the street of coverage is formed by satellites in one orbit, the configuration design is analyzed. Then, the conclusion is extended to improve the configuration characterization of the traditional Walker constellation, and a constellation configuration parameterization method is proposed based on the streets of coverage. Based on the phase plane mapping of orbit elements, the method of calculating the characteristic width of the streets of coverage formed by satellites in different orbits is given. By analyzing the stitching of the streets of coverage on the phase plane, the optimization strategy of orbit inclination and the design procedure of Walker constellation with even coverage folds at arbitrary latitude are given. The proposed method can significantly improve the efficiency of configuration enumeration and meet the coverage requirements at different latitude ranges. Simulation results show that the proposed method can reduce the number of satellites by about 10%, and can further optimize the number of orbit planes by adjusting the configuration parameters.

Key words: Walker constellation, Continuous coverage, Configuration design, Street of coverage, Phase plane method

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