posted on Oct, 18 2010 @ 01:15 AM
Biggest problem with spy-sats is that they're almost never where you need them to be when you need them to be there.
The big sats, the ones we park in a geosynchronous orbit over some specific spot on the globe, are difficult, and expensive to re-position; assuming
they can be re-tasked in real time.
Smaller, special purpose sats orbiting in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) may be sonewhat more flexible, but they still suffer from the physics of orbital
mechanics: they're only over the target area for a small portion of their, very predictable, orbits.
Now suppose you could launch a "string" of "micro" satellites, each no bigger than say, a soccer ball, from a purpose-built "mothership"
The micro-sats would be deployed, like pearls on a string, at specific points along a useful orbit, and would thus provide vitually continuous
coverage of a desired point on the ground by over-flying that point in sequence.
The micro-sats would be capable of a form of "Flocking Behaviour", each sat communicating with its immediate neighbors to maintain proper spacing
along the chosen orbit to ensure continuous coverage.
The "mothership" could also carry replacement units in case of malfunction, and would re-collect the "Flock" for their return to Earth for
re-furbishment and re-use.
The mothership would wat patiently in an adjacent "parking" orbit while her "children" accomplished the mission.
And then they would all "Fly Away, Fly Away, Fly Away Home!"