Two types of satellite-based occultation missions are considered for measuring atmospheric constituents. Nominal cases for each type are presented to demonstrate representative solutions to orbit design problems. For the solar occultation mode, large areas of the globe can be covered during a 1-year mission, but the measurements are limited to local dawn or dusk. For the dual satellite mode, with a laser aboard a second satellite to act as a source, diurnal coverage can be obtained at the expense of more complex systems and mission scenarios. In this mode, orbit pairs are selected which maintain their relative orbit plane geometry while their differing periods drive cyclic patterns of latitude coverage. A simulated 1-year solar occultation mission is used to illustrate one way of analyzing occultation data by averaging measurements within bands of constant latitude.
Astrodynamics Specialist Conference; Sept. 7-9, 1977; Jackson Hole, WY; US