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Stereoscopic Light Curve Analysis of Space Debris Objects

Schafer, Ewan (2017) Stereoscopic Light Curve Analysis of Space Debris Objects. Master's, Julius Maximilians Universität Würzburg, Luleå Tekniska Universitet.

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Abstract

As an object in orbit rotates, the amount of sunlight which it reflects towards Earth varies. When measured by an observer on the ground, these perceived changes in brightness are know as a light curve. The shape of a light curve is determined, in part, by the attitude and rotation state of the object but also depends on a great many other parameters. Research into how useful information might be recovered from an object’s light curve is an active area of research. If solved it would have important implications in the fields of orbit propagation and active space debris removal. One possible route to better understanding light curves is through stereoscopic observation, where two observers simultaneously measure the brightness changes from different vantage points. This thesis documents the planning and execution of a collaborative campaign of stereoscopic light curve acquisition between the German Aerospace Center’s Institute of Technical Physics and Institute for Planetary Research. In these experiments, the light curves of space debris objects in MEO were observed using a pair of telescopes separated by a baseline of 1595 km. These two observatories being, the Uhlandshöhe Forschungsobservatorium (UFO) in Stuttgart, Germany and the Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán (CAHA) in Almeriá province, Spain. Also documented is the complete development of Raxus Prime 2.0, a program for performing the analysis and simulation of stereoscopic light curves. An early attempt at estimating the spin state of space debris objects from stereoscopic light curves using Raxus Prime 2.0 is detailed.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/127086/
Document Type:Thesis (Master's)
Title:Stereoscopic Light Curve Analysis of Space Debris Objects
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Schafer, EwanEwan.Schafer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:December 2017
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Number of Pages:93
Status:Published
Keywords:Passive optical measurements; Light curves; Space debris; Uhlandshöhe Forschungsobservatorium; Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán; Simulation software
Institution:Julius Maximilians Universität Würzburg, Luleå Tekniska Universitet
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 > Active Optical Systems
Deposited By: Schafer, Ewan
Deposited On:05 Apr 2019 14:10
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:24

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