Multi-objective Heuristic Design Approach for SAR Mission for Monitoring Local Target Area

  • Hae-Dong KimEmail author
  • Jae-Dong Seong
Original Paper


The Korea first synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite with a 1-m resolution—Korea Multi-purpose Satellite-5 (KOMPSAT-5)—was successfully launched in Korea in 2013, and its successors will be launched continuously to monitor specific target areas. The major requirements of the orbit design for KOMPSAT-5 are that the mean average revisit time (ART) over the Korean peninsula is no longer than 24 h and that the repeat ground track orbit is guaranteed. For this type of problem, an iterative and tedious process may be used to derive the appropriate mission orbit to satisfy the mission requirements. During the design process, sophisticated coverage analysis software should be employed to evaluate the mean ART over a specific local target area. Moccia et al. (Acta Astronaut 47(11):819–829, 2000) presented a feasibility study of a new space-based observation technique using a bistatic SAR and performed a numerical simulation to estimate the measurement accuracy for the bright point target position and velocity. Kim and Chang (Aerosp Sci Technol 40:17–32, 2015) developed an optimal scheduling method employing a genetic algorithm (GA) to reduce the system response time for an SAR satellite constellation. Wei and Chunsheng (Adv Sp Res 50:272–281, 2012) proposed a new design method for a distributed satellite-borne SAR system with an error-propagation model and used a monostatic design to determine the key parameters of a single SAR satellite. Apart from the SAR mission, the orbit design for Earth-observation missions over a specific area or target has been studied by others. Abdelkhlik et al. (J Guid Control Dyn 29(5):1231–1235, 2006) utilized the RGT concept to design natural orbits for visiting a target area without the use of propulsion systems. Kim et al. (J Spacecr Rocket 46(3):725–728, 2009) proposed a new strategy employing a GA to search the current mission orbit for a temporary target orbit to achieve a temporary reconnaissance mission over a particular target site using a low-Earth-orbit satellite during a specific period. We propose an effective approach for the design of the SAR mission for a local target area. Here, the ART and average transmitted power are key parameters for the mission requirements and the bus system, respectively. To our knowledge, no previous studies have considered this kind of problem. To satisfy the mission requirements for the ART over a local target area and simultaneously consider the average transmitted power, multi-objective heuristic algorithms including GEs, particle swarm optimization, and differential evolution are used, and their performances are compared. The computational approach of the design strategy proposed by the authors is based on the optimization algorithms in Matlab® and the powerful coverage analysis tool STK®. Therefore, the proposed strategy is adaptable for various types of SAR mission designs having complex requirements regarding both the orbit and the bus system, particularly for monitoring a specific local target area.


SAR mission Genetic algorithm PSO DE 



Synthetic aperture radar


Korea multi-purpose satellite


Average revisit time


Genetic algorithm


Repeat ground track


Low Earth orbit


Particle swarm optimization


Differential evolution


System tool kit


Region of interest


Right ascension of the ascending node


Local time of ascending node



This research was supported by the “A Development of Core Technology for Space Exploration Using Nano-satellite” funded by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). We would like to thank KARI for their support.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society for Aeronautical & Space Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Korea Aerospace Research InstituteDaejeonRepublic of Korea

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