Performance Criteria

Before we can ask ‘how will it work?’ we need to define exactly what we want to achieve.

There are two sets of performance criteria – ideal and minimum. The minimum performance criteria will achieve the artistic goals of the project. Reaching the ideal performance criteria would make Orbital Illumination suitable for the greatest range of commercial and emergency applications.

We provided both sets of criteria to give researchers contextual goals when recommending particular technologies or solutions. Certain trade-offs may be acceptable within the context of the entire project.


Performance Criteria

  • High Global Availability – Using a combination of satellites we can illuminate a target almost anywhere on earth with little notice.
  • Smooth and steady beam – Highly controlled beam movement
  • Searchlight brightness – Brightness comparable to a modern searchlight
  • Real-time control – We can steer a beam live from the ground
  • Narrow beam – 30m diameter or less at surface
  • Camera – For search and rescue applications a camera would be able to relay images of persons arriving at the illuminated site
  • Compact and lightweight – Nano form factor.
  • Uses standardised components
  • Long-lived


Performance Criteria

  • Planned Availability – All illumination tasks must be planned well in advance and are limited to selected geographic areas.
  • Full moon brightness – Maximum brightness is comparable to the full moon
  • Communication in limited windows – Tasks must be uploaded in advance


At the start of the feasibility study process all we have is questions. We’ve attempted to break these questions down by focus area and put them in an order. Of course reality is not so simple. Almost every decision will affect the other departments and ongoing two-way conversations will be necessary. As such this hierarchy isn’t intended to be an authoritative plan, it’s simply a tool for identifying the kind of expertise we need and starting the conversation.

If you think you might have the answers to some of these questions please get in touch.