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Passive optical link budget for LEO space surveillance

Wagner, Paul and Hasenohr, Thomas and Hampf, Daniel and Sproll, Fabian and Humbert, Leif and Rodmann, Jens and Riede, Wolfgang (2017) Passive optical link budget for LEO space surveillance. 2017 AMOS Conference, 19.-22. Sep. 2017, Maui, HI, USA.

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Abstract

The rising space debris population is becoming an increasing risk for space assets. Even objects with the size of 10mm can cause major damages to active spacecraft. Especially the orbits around 800km high are densely populated with space debris objects. To assess the risk of collisions with active satellites, the Earth orbits need to be surveyed permanently. Space debris laser ranging systems for example can deliver highly accurate positional data for precise orbit determination. Therefor a priori information about the objects coarse trajectory is needed. Such initial orbit information can be provided by wide angle optical sensors. The Institute of Technical Physics at the German Aerospace Center in Stuttgart runs an observatory to perform passive as well as laser optical measurements to LEO objects. In order to detect unknown objects, a wide-angle imaging system with a field of view in the range of 5° to 15° equipped with an astronomical CCD camera and a commercial off the shelf (COTS) lens was designed to continuously observe the night sky for LEO objects. This paper presents the passive optical link budget for observing LEO objects to show the benefits and limits of the physical performance of an optical surveillance system. A compact COTS system is able to detect objects with a couple of decimeters in size while a large aperture telescope can detect objects with diameters below 10cm. Additionally, data captured by a passive optical staring system with a 10 cm aperture was analyzed. It is shown that 90% of all objects with a radar cross section larger than 2m² are detected with such a system during twilight conditions. The smallest detected LEO object with this system has a size of 0.32m x 0.32m x 0.26m. These measurements are compared to the developed link budget which allows an estimation of the performance of larger systems.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/116790/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Title:Passive optical link budget for LEO space surveillance
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Wagner, PaulPaul.Wagner (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8882-8202
Hasenohr, ThomasThomas.Hasenohr (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Hampf, DanielDaniel.Hampf (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Sproll, FabianFabian.Sproll (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Humbert, Leifleif.humbert (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Rodmann, JensJens.Rodmann (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Riede, WolfgangWolfgang.Riede (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:6 December 2017
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:Small Aperture, Wide Field of View Optical Systems, LEO, space debris, orbital debris, staring camera, space situational awareness, SSA, wide-field optical space surveillance, laser ranging
Event Title:2017 AMOS Conference
Event Location:Maui, HI, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:19.-22. Sep. 2017
Organizer:Maui Economic Development Board
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Technik für Raumfahrtsysteme
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Space Debris / Laser based SSA
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Technical Physics
Deposited By: Wagner, Paul
Deposited On:08 Jan 2018 08:37
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:14

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