Visible Magnitude of Typical Satellites in Synchronous Orbits
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH LEXINGTON LINCOLN LAB
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Expressions for the visibility, in terms of visible magnitude, of resident space objects are presented in this report. The variations of the visible magnitude with the geometry of the viewing situation, considering variables such as distance, surface type and reflectivity, viewing angles, and spacecraft orientation, are discussed. Calculations of the visible magnitude to be expected and some of the variations are then made for typical satellites in synchronous orbits. Finally, calculations of the maximum visible magnitudes for several satellites, with a collection of the available data and some photographs are presented in an appendix. This work is related to the Telescope Detection and Ranging TDAR Program.
- Unmanned Spacecraft
- Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry