Using conjunction analysis methods for manoeuvres detection

Herzog, J.; Fiedler, H.; Schildknecht, Thomas (April 2017). Using conjunction analysis methods for manoeuvres detection. In: 7th European Conference on Space Debris. Darmstadt, Germany. 18 - 21 April 2017.

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Operational satellites in the geostationary orbit region (GEO) have to perform station keeping manoeuvres to maintain their longitude and inclination. When maintain-
ing an object catalogue, these manoeuvres lead to difficulties within the object identification process. It is possible that the catalogue contains multiple instances of the
same object, depending on whether the new observations could be associated to the correct catalogued object. Efficient manoeuvre detection may reduce the number of
duplicate objects by connecting orbits after a manoeuvre with those before. In this work, methods traditionally used for determining collision probabilities were applied to identify manoeuvres. It will be shown that with these methods, manoeuvres may be detected shortly after they were performed. Two orbits and their osculating epochs are taken and the time interval in between the epochs is scanned for a possible close approach. A collision probability is calculated for each epoch and criteria to conclude whether a manoeuvre took place are developed. In the present study, manoeuvres of the operational satellites Meteosat-8, -9, -10, and -11 are identified and compared to the ones provided by the operating entity, EUMETSAT. This validation of the algorithm is based on the osculating elements before and after the manoeuvre, as well as epoch of the manoeuvres provided by EUMETSAT. Finally, some time intervals are analysed with orbits based on observations obtained by optical telescopes. These observations were provided by the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern. It is shown how multiple instances of an object in a catalogue are reduced by using this method.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Schildknecht, Thomas


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




Alessandro Vananti

Date Deposited:

08 Dec 2017 10:14

Last Modified:

11 Feb 2019 13:57




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