Accession Number : ADA485325


Title :   Initial Determination of Low Earth Orbits Using Commercial Telescopes


Descriptive Note : Master's thesis


Corporate Author : AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH DEPT OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS


Personal Author(s) : Schmunk, Matthew M


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a485325.pdf


Report Date : Mar 2008


Pagination or Media Count : 90


Abstract : Within the last decade, many new technologies have significantly changed the face of private astronomy. Developments such as inexpensive but high-quality sensors, rapid personal computing, and easy networking inspire a reexamination of an old problem: how practical is it to develop initial orbit estimates for Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites using optical tracking? This paper documents the design and implementation of a commercial telescope system used to answer precisely that question. This analysis determined there are some challenging barriers to successful single-site orbit determination, but it is possible given the right conditions. Considering the low cost and small support footprint of such systems, they could provide excellent support to Space Situational Awareness (SSA) missions or satellite tracking operations in general.


Descriptors :   *TELESCOPES , *LOW ORBIT TRAJECTORIES , EARTH ORBITS , SPACE SURVEILLANCE , LOW COSTS , TRACKING , THESES , ESTIMATES , IDENTIFICATION , BRIGHTNESS , ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES , ASTRONOMY , DETERMINATION , OPTICAL TRACKING , AWARENESS , SATELLITE TRACKING SYSTEMS , ORBITS , COMMERCE


Subject Categories : Optical Detection and Detectors
      Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE