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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3518537, 7 pages
Research Article

A GRASP for Next Generation Sapphire Image Acquisition Scheduling

1School of Management, Northwestern Polytechnical University, 127 Youyi West Road, Xi’an 710072, China
2Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University Surrey, 250-13450 102nd Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V3T 0A3
3MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., Richmond, BC, Canada

Received 25 April 2016; Accepted 10 October 2016

Academic Editor: Paolo Tortora

Copyright © 2016 Yang Wang 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.


This paper investigates an image acquisition scheduling problem for a Canadian surveillance-of-space satellite named Sapphire that takes images of deep space Earth-orbiting objects. For a set of resident space objects (RSOs) that needs to be imaged within the time horizon of one day, the Sapphire image acquisition scheduling (SIAS) problem is to find a schedule that maximizes the “Figure of Merit” of all the scheduled RSO images. To address the problem, we propose an effective GRASP heuristic that alternates between a randomized greedy constructive procedure and a local search procedure. Experimental comparisons with the currently used greedy algorithm are presented to demonstrate the merit of the proposed algorithm in handling the SIAS problem.