Comparison of New Methods for the Correlation of Short Radar Tracklets

Reihs, Benedikt; Vananti, Alessandro; Schildknecht, Thomas (October 2018). Comparison of New Methods for the Correlation of Short Radar Tracklets. In: 69th International Astronautical Congress. International Astronautical Federation ( IAF )

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Due to the increasing amount of objects in space and the improving sensitivity of modern radar systems, which enable the detection of smaller objects, the number of tracked objects steadily increases together with the load on these systems. This may lead to shorter tracking times of single objects to be able to track as many objects as possible. Such short tracklets have the disadvantage that they may not provide enough information to compute a reliable initial orbit, if they cannot be matched with a known orbit from a catalogue. Instead it becomes necessary to combine multiple short tracklets, which belong to the same object. The identification of these combinations, called correlation, using short-arc radar measurements is the focus of this paper. Based on the concept of attributables, different methods for initial orbit determination and tracklet correlation are developed, which use different combinations of observables. Simulated radar measurements of surveillance campaigns for different orbit types are used to evaluate the functionality of the methods. The results show that it is critical to consider the J₂-gravitational perturbations by the Earth oblateness to achieve satisfactory results. While all methods perform the task successfully, one method based on the classical Lambert problem achieves the best results also with regard to computational performance. Thus, this method is selected for further development and investigation in the future.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Reihs, Benedikt; Vananti, Alessandro and Schildknecht, Thomas


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




International Astronautical Federation ( IAF )




Alessandro Vananti

Date Deposited:

28 May 2019 14:51

Last Modified:

23 Jan 2020 10:29




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