SPACE SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM
Technical summary rept. no. 5.
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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The U. S. Navy Space Surveillance System comprises 7 stations on a great circle path across the Southern United States. Activation of the central 560-kw transmitter in June 1961 and narrowband receiving equipment at all 4 receiver sites has greatly increased the system capability. The system makes about 700 observations per day and produces orbital elements on over 100 orbiting objects. Initial orbital elements obtained from the first satellite pass through the system are based on position, determined by triangulation from 2 or more receiver stations, and velocity derived by measuring rate of change of phase between the 2 antennas of a long-baseline interferometer. These data are expected to determine the period to within 5 and inclination to 0.5 degree when baselines of one-mi length are completed. The elements are refined in 3 further steps 2 successive passes, passes from the 2 sides of the orbit, and finally by a differential correction computer program using several days of observations. This final refinement produces the system output in terms of orbital elements usable for any location around the world. Their accuracy is such that currently the passage of stable satellites can be predicted to within 1 sec in time for a week in advance. Author
- Active and Passive Radar Detection and Equipment