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Optical technologies for observation of low Earth orbit objects

Hampf, Daniel and Wagner, Paul and Riede, Wolfgang (2014) Optical technologies for observation of low Earth orbit objects. In: Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC. 65th International Astronautical Congress 2014, 29. Sep - 03. Okt 2014, Toronto, Canada.

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In order to avoid collisions with space debris, the near Earth orbit must be continuously scanned by either ground- or spaced-based facilities. For the low Earth orbit, radar telescopes are the workhorse for this task, especially due to their continuous availability. However, optical observation methods can deliver complementary information, especially towards high accuracy measurements. Passive-optical observations are inexpensive and can yield very precise information about the apparent position of the object in the sky via comparison with background stars. However, the object's distance from the observer is not readily accessible, which constitutes a major drawback of this approach for the precise calculation of the orbital elements. Two experimental methods have been devised to overcome this problem: Using two observatories a few kilometres apart, strictly simultaneous observations of the same object yield an accurate, instantaneous 3D position determination through measurement of the parallax. If only one observatory is available, a pulsed laser can be used in addition to the passive-optical channel to measure the distance to the object, in a similar fashion as used by the satellite laser ranging community. However, compared to conventional laser ranging, a stronger laser and more elaborate tracking algorithms are necessary. The two approaches can also be combined by illuminating the object with a pulsed laser from one observatory and measuring the return times at both observatories. These techniques are explored by German Aerospace Center in Stuttgart using its orbital debris research observatory, in cooperation with the Satellite Laser Ranging station in Graz and the Geode- tic Observatory in Wettzell. This contribution will present some of the results and plans for further measurement campaigns.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/91072/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Title:Optical technologies for observation of low Earth orbit objects
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Hampf, Danieldaniel.hampf (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Wagner, Paulpaul.wagner (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Riede, Wolfgangwolfgang.riede (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:September 2014
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Weltraumschrott, space debris, optische Beobachtung
Event Title:65th International Astronautical Congress 2014
Event Location:Toronto, Canada
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:29. Sep - 03. Okt 2014
Organizer:International Astronautical Federation
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 - Vorhaben Laserbasiertes SSA (old)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Technical Physics > Active Optical Systems
Deposited By: Hampf, Daniel
Deposited On:13 Nov 2014 10:37
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:48

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