Ground Testing of Prototype Hardware and Processing Algorithms for a Wide Area Space Surveillance System (WASSS)
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB KIRTLAND AFB NM SPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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We report the results of observations made at Magdalena Ridge Observatory using the prototype Wide Area Space Surveillance System WASSS camera, which has a 4 x 60 deg field-of-view, 0.05 deg resolution, a 2.8 cmexpn 2 aperture, and the ability to view within 4 deg of the sun. A single camera pointed at the GEO belt provided a continuous nightlong record of the intensity and location of more than 50 GEO objects detected within the camera s 60 deg field-of-view, with a detection sensitivity similar to the camera s shot noise limit of msub v13.7. Performance is anticipated to scale with aperture area, allowing the detection of dimmer objects with larger-aperture cameras. The sensitivity of the system depends on multi-frame averaging and a Principal Component Analysis based image processing algorithm that filters out space objects based on their different angular velocities from those of celestial objects. Results are presented for a full night of viewing on October 16, 2012. Close to 100 space objects were detected, of which 85 were identified.
- Numerical Mathematics
- Statistics and Probability