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Recent Results from the Goldstone Orbital Debris Radar: 2016-2017Since 1993, the NASA Orbital Debris Program Office has used the Goldstone Orbital Debris Radar (Goldstone) to sample statistically the orbital debris environment. Due to the sensitivity of this radar, which can detect an approximately 3 mm-diameter conducting sphere at 1,000 km, it has filled an important role in the characterization of the sub-centimeter-sized orbital debris population. Through the years, the capabilities of this system have increased – recent updates include increased receiver bandwidth and a change in the bi-static observation geometry – both of which enhance the radar’s ability to estimate orbital parameters. In 2016, dual polarization capability was added, making this the first year where both right- and left-hand circularly polarized information was available from this sensor. This additional polarization information may enable better characterization of sub-centimeter-sized particles in low Earth orbit, particularly since the receiver triggers on reflected energy from both left- and right-handed circular polarizations independently. In this paper, we present measurements and results derived from data taken during the calendar years (CY) 2016-2017 by Goldstone and compare this dataset to measurements taken by the Haystack Ultra-wideband Satellite Imaging Radar (HUSIR) during a similar timeframe.

Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Murray, James
(Jacobs Engineering Group Houston, TX, United States)
Miller, Rossina
(Jacobs Engineering Group Houston, TX, United States)
Matney, Mark
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Anz-Meador, Phillip
(Jacobs Engineering Group Houston, TX, United States)
Kennedy, Timothy
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
December 12, 2019
Publication Date
December 9, 2019
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: International Orbital Debris (IOC) Conference
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Country: United States
Start Date: December 9, 2019
End Date: December 12, 2019
Sponsors: Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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