The Passive, Ground-Based, Electro-Optical Detection of Synchronous Satellites
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH LEXINGTON LINCOLN LAB
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M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory is engaged in supporting the Electronic Systems Division ESD of the Air Force Systems Command AFSC in developing the Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance GEODSS system. As a part of this program an Experimental Test Site ETS has been established in the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, to serve as a test-bed for the system. After a brief description of the GEODSS network, the ETS and its role are defined and illustrated. Next, the matter of sensor selection for the ETS is discussed. This is followed by the consideration of the problem of point-source detection. A semi-empirical model which indicates the point-source detection capabilities of the background-limited ETS electro-optical sensors is presented. Short discussions of the satellite population and the problems associated with the passive detection of space objects by reflected sunlight are followed by conclusions based upon brightness measurements made at the ETS during approximately two years of operation.
- Optical Detection and Detectors