Rotating Geodesic Array
|| This is 1002 thinsats arranged in a radially-flattened icosahedral geodesic sphere, with V=10 or 9 thinsats between vertices. The array appears to rotate because each thinsat is in a slightly elliptical orbit around the 4 hour circular equatorial orbit. This array is 20 meters across. The size of the array in the orbiting top view is greatly exaggerated, with the sun to the left, looking from the north pole.
The array makes 6 orbits per solar day, while the earth turns once per solar day, appearing as 5 overhead passes from the ground.
At 3 grams per thinsat, this array weighs 30 kg, and with a 60GHz carrier has a half-power ground spot size 1km across at 30°N (7200km distance).
The array is sparse, and most of the power is splattered over a 3 degree wide beam (diffraction limit from the 20cm wide thinsat), but with a 1m2 ground antenna and a 1Gbps signal only a picowatt/m2 signal strength is needed at the primary ground spot, with far lower sidelobe energy.
source file, requires png2swf and libgd, produced with Scientific Linux. ||