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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 4315026, 9 pages
Research Article

Application of Latitude Stripe Division in Satellite Constellation Coverage to Ground

1School of Computer, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
2Hubei Key Laboratory of Intelligent Geo-Information Processing, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
3Institute of Computer Sciences, Heidelberg University, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Received 16 August 2016; Revised 28 October 2016; Accepted 8 November 2016

Academic Editor: Paolo Tortora

Copyright © 2016 Maocai 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.


Grid point technique is a classical method in computing satellite constellation coverage to the ground regions. Aiming at improving the low computational efficiency of the conventional method, a method using latitude stripe division is proposed, which has high efficiency, and we name it latitude stripe method. After dividing the target region into several latitude stripes, the coverage status of each latitude stripe is computed by means of the spherical geometry relationship in the first orbital period. The longitude coverage intervals in the remaining orbital periods are computed by sliding the coverage status in the first orbital period. Based on this method, the instantaneous and cumulative coverage in simulation time can be calculated more efficiently. As well, the relationship between the cumulative coverage and altitude can be computed fast by this method, which could be used in the optimized design of repeating sun-synchronous orbits. The comparison between the conventional grid point method and the latitude stripe method shows that the latitude stripe method has high efficiency and accuracy. Through various case studies, the optimization in repeating sun-synchronous orbits design is successfully represented.