Accession Number:

ADA622134

Title:

Leveraging External Sensor Data for Enhanced Space Situational Awareness

Descriptive Note:

Doctoral thesis

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2015-09-17

Pagination or Media Count:

165.0

Abstract:

Reliable SSA is a recognized requirement in the current congested, contested, and competitive environment of space operations. A shortage of available sensors and reliable data sources are some current limiting factors for maintaining SSA. Unfortunately, cost constraints prohibit drastically increasing the sensor inventory. Alternative methods are sought to enhance current SSA, including utilizing non-traditional data sources external sensors to perform basic SSA catalog maintenance functions. Astronomical data, for example, routinely collects serendipitous satellite streaks in the course of observing deep space but tactics, techniques, and procedures designed to glean useful information from those collects have yet to be rigorously developed. This work examines the feasibility and utility of performing ephemeris positional updates for a RSO catalog using metric data obtained from RSO streaks gathered by astronomical telescopes. The focus of this work is on processing data from three possible streak categories streaks that only enter, only exit, or cross completely through the astronomical image. Successful use of this data will aid in resolving uncorrelated tracks, space object identi cation, and threat detection. Incorporation of external data sources will also reduce the number of routine collects required by existing SSA sensors, freeing them up for more demanding tasks. The results clearly demonstrate that accurate orbital reconstruction can be performed using an RSO streak in a distorted image, without applying calibration frames and that partially bound streaks provide similar results to traditional data, with a mean degradation of 62 in right ascension and 4269 in declination. The methodology developed can also be applied to dedicated SSA sensors to extract data from serendipitous streaks gathered while observing other RSOs.

Subject Categories:

  • Miscellaneous Detection and Detectors
  • Astronautics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE