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Orbit Determination of LEO Satellites for a Single Pass through a Radar: Comparison of MethodsThe problem of determining the orbit of a space object from measurements based on one pass through the field of view of a radar is not a new one. Extensive research in this area has been carried out in the USA and Russia since the late 50s when these countries started the development of ballistic missile defense (BMD) and Early Warning systems. In Russia these investigations got additional stimulation in the early 60s after the decision to create a Space Surveillance System, whose primary task would be the maintenance of the satellite catalog. These problems were the focus of research interest until the middle 70s when the appropriate techniques and software were implemented for all radars. Then for more than 20 years no new research papers appeared on this subject. This produced an impression that all the problems of track determination based on one pass had been solved and there was no need for further research. In the late 90s interest in this problem arose again in relation to the following. It was estimated that there would be greater than 100,000 objects with size greater than 1-2 cm and collision of an operational spacecraft with any of these objects could have catastrophic results. Thus, for prevention of hazardous approaches and collisions with valuable spacecraft the existing satellite catalog should be extended by at least an order of magnitude This is a very difficult scientific and engineering task. One of the issues is the development of data fusion procedures and the software capable of maintaining such a huge catalog in near real time. The number of daily processed measurements (of all types, radar and optical) for such a system may constitute millions, thus increasing the number of measurements by at least an order of magnitude. Since we will have ten times more satellites and measurements the computer effort required for the correlation of measurements will be two orders of magnitude greater. This could create significant problems for processing data close to real time even for modern computers. Preliminary "compression" of data for one pass through the field of view of a sensor can significantly reduce the requirements to computers and data communication. This compression will occur when all the single measurements of the sensor are replaced by the orbit determined on their basis. The single measurement here means the radar parameters (range, azimuth, elevation, and in some cases range rate) measured by a single pulse.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Khutorovsky, Z.
(Vympel Corp. Russian Federation)
Kamensky, S.
(Vympel Corp. Russian Federation)
Sbytov, N.
(Vympel Corp. Russian Federation)
Alfriend, K. T.
(Texas A&M Univ. TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
September 24, 2007
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the 20th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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