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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 864950, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/864950
Research Article

A New Constellation Configuration Scheme for Communicating Architecture in Cislunar Space

1Department of Aerospace Engineering, School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
2R. & D. Center, DFH Satellite Co., Ltd., Beijing 100094, China

Received 29 August 2012; Revised 2 December 2012; Accepted 10 December 2012

Academic Editor: Xing-Gang Yan

Copyright © 2013 Ming Xu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A new constellation configuration is proposed to provide near-constant communications between any two points in the cislunar space. Four satellites were allocated on some natural orbits near points by a multiple shooting corrector numerically. The revisiting intervals between the successive revisits on specified points by the constellation are demonstrated both on the geographical maps of the Earth and the Moon, with a consideration of equatorial inclinations with respect to the Earth-Moon orbital plane. Moreover, the coverage periodicity on the Moon is induced by Metonic cycle of 19 years. Cost analysis on stationkeeping and launching is implemented for this constellation in detail. Finally, some aspects about communications, such as satellite links, delays, ground stations, and communication devices, are surveyed preliminarily.