A New Concept of Synthetic Aperture Instrument for High Resolution Earth Observation from High Orbits
ALCATEL SPACE INDUSTRIES CANNES LA BOCCA (FRANCE)
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High Resolution Earth Observation from high orbits e.g. Geostationnary requires the use of large diameter telescopes, unfeasible if considering monolithic concepts. It is necessary, to circumvent this problem, to consider a segmented instrument, turning it into a feasible concept that can be put into orbit. Optical Aperture Synthesis OAS can be considered as a solution for HR observation from high orbits. In this paper, we describe a new OAS imaging instrument concept under study in the Alcatel Space Research Department 1 having variable resolution and field of view by adopting a re-decomposition of the basic Michelson or Fizeau interferometer schemes. In addition to providing variable resolution power and field of view, this instrument concept is particularly robust to sub-systems failure since it shows a natural redundancy of its imaging capabilities.