Space Object Characterization with 16-Visible-Band Measurements at Magdalena Ridge Observatory
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB KIRTLAND AFB NM SPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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Data was collected at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory MRO with the Multi Lens Array MLA camera coupled to the MRO 2.4 m telescope. MRO is located at 33.985oN, 252.811oE at an altitude of 3193 m, approximately 30 miles West of Socorro, NM. The MRO facilities are intended for both astronomical research and Resident Space Object RSO characterization. The purpose of the measurement campaign was to collect both resolved images and unresolved signatures of RSOs in 16 spectral bands, ranging from 414 nm to 845 nm. During the campaign, observations were made over five sessions for the period 21-27 September 2007. During that time we succeeded in observing and collecting data for 18 different calibration stars and 40 different RSOs, mostly those in Low Earth Orbit LEO. A major objective of the measurement campaign is to collect RSO data that can be used to select spectral bands optimized for estimating surface material composition. The analysis results help determine the nominal spectral differences for typical RSO materials. The paper will discuss the potential of using a multiband camera for RSO identification and characterization.
- Unmanned Spacecraft