Multiple Hypothesis Tracking (MHT) for Space Surveillance: Results and Simulation Studies
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB KIRTLAND AFB NM SPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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The need to accurately track breakups and satellite clusters, as well as to resolve uncorrelated tracks UCTs, especially uncorrelated optical observations UCOs, requires new, robust, and autonomous methods for space surveillance to enable the development and maintenance of the space catalog and to support the over- all SSA mission. This paper presents results on the performance of a newly-developed, statistically-robust, system-level, multiple hypothesis tracking MHT capability for joint catalog maintenance, UCTUCO resolution, and initial orbit determination, in multiple regimes of space. A recent companion paper described some of the unique components contained within the authors implementation of MHT, including the multi-frame data association problem and the statistical framework used for scoring the likelihood that a sequence of measurements, UCTsUCOs, and other reports emanate from a common object either newly-discovered or already catalogued. As demonstrated by the results in this paper, the MHT system provides superior tracking performance compared to existing methods for data association in realistic multi-sensor multi- object tracking scenarios over multiple regimes of space. Specifically, we demonstrate that the prototype MHT system can accurately and efficiently process tens of thousands of UCTsUCOs emanating from thousands of space objects in real-time on a single processor.
- Unmanned Spacecraft