Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

John F. Raquet, PhD


In most recent years, both high-resolution imagery systems and images were only available to military and national security organizations. Distinctive changes within the commercial image industry allowed space-borne pioneers to provide high-resolution images. Space-borne Image Company's Ikonos satellite provides a 1-meter resolution for the past 3 years. Current development of .5-meter resolution will be offered in the near future. Access of these images is available in ground stations located worldwide in different regions. Studies have shown that these high quality images are eye-catching and may serve a purpose through its design; on contrary high cost and accessibility does not met all the requirements of a nation or a region. A nation certainly cannot rely on a foreign commercial company for reconnaissance needs in times of crisis. The best frequency of coverage for a single point on earth is available once every 2.9 days on an average with high resolution. This study seeks a commercial imaging solution for regional applications. Mission requirements are set well above the existing commercial imaging systems including; continuous coverage during daylight hours, and daily re-visitation; service 5 to 25 'simultaneous' customers in addition to competitive resolution and cost. Alternatives considered included satellites, small satellites, UAV's and mixed systems. Inflatable technologies that permit higher orbit attitude and solar-powered UAV's with extended on-station times are also evaluated in this study.

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