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Homework Help: Calculating Satellite Aperture Radius

  1. Oct 29, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Estimate (in the order of magnitude) the size of a satellite lens (aperture radius) required to resolve a human face at the surface of the Earth if the satellite is orbiting at an altitude of 100km. Assume λ to be 600nm.

    2. Relevant equations
    θ = 1.22 (λ/D)

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I feel like this should be a really simple problem but I've been struggling with it for a while now. I want to find D, but I don't have the angular resolution, θ, either. Should I estimate it? There's another equation, θ = (h/D)k but it still has D in it. I also can't figure out how to take into account the altitude distance. If someone could help me out it'd be much appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2013 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    You'll have to estimate the required angular resolution given the satellite distance and a typical head :smile:
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