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Proceedings Paper

Image-based systems for space surveillance: from images to collision avoidance
Author(s): Marine Pyanet; Bernard Martin; Nicolas Fau; Sophie Vial; Chantal Chalte; Pascal Beraud; Philippe Fuss; Roland Le Goff
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Paper Abstract

In many spatial systems, image is a core technology to fulfil the mission requirements. Depending on the application, the needs and the constraints are different and imaging systems can offer a large variety of configurations in terms of wavelength, resolution, field-of-view, focal length or sensitivity. Adequate image processing algorithms allow the extraction of the needed information and the interpretation of images. As a prime contractor for many major civil or military projects, Astrium ST is very involved in the proposition, development and realization of new image-based techniques and systems for space-related purposes. Among the different applications, space surveillance is a major stake for the future of space transportation. Indeed, studies show that the number of debris in orbit is exponentially growing and the already existing population of small and medium debris is a concrete threat to operational satellites. This paper presents Astrium ST activities regarding space surveillance for space situational awareness (SSA) and space traffic management (STM). Among other possible SSA architectures, the relevance of a ground-based optical station network is investigated. The objective is to detect and track space debris and maintain an exhaustive and accurate catalogue up-to-date in order to assess collision risk for satellites and space vehicles. The system is composed of different type of optical stations dedicated to specific functions (survey, passive tracking, active tracking), distributed around the globe. To support these investigations, two in-house operational breadboards were implemented and are operated for survey and tracking purposes. This paper focuses on Astrium ST end-to-end optical-based survey concept. For the detection of new debris, a network of wide field of view survey stations is considered: those stations are able to detect small objects and associated image processing (detection and tracking) allow a preliminary restitution of their orbit.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8186, Electro-Optical Remote Sensing, Photonic Technologies, and Applications V, 81860F (5 October 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.898163
Show Author Affiliations
Marine Pyanet, Astrium ST (France)
Bernard Martin, Astrium ST (France)
Nicolas Fau, Astrium ST (France)
Sophie Vial, Astrium ST (France)
Chantal Chalte, EADS Sodern (France)
Pascal Beraud, EADS Sodern (France)
Philippe Fuss, EADS Sodern (France)
Roland Le Goff, EADS Sodern (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8186:
Electro-Optical Remote Sensing, Photonic Technologies, and Applications V
Gary J. Bishop; Gary W. Kamerman; Ove Steinvall; John D. Gonglewski; Keith L. Lewis, Editor(s)

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