Capability of a space-based space surveillance system to detect and track objects in GEO, MEO and LEO orbits

Silha, Jiri; Schildknecht, Thomas; Hinze, Andreas; Utzmann, J.; Wagner, A.; Willemsen, P.; Teston, F.; Flohrer, T. (2014). Capability of a space-based space surveillance system to detect and track objects in GEO, MEO and LEO orbits. In: Proceedings of 65th International Astronautical Congress (pp. 1160-1168). International Astronautical Federation ( IAF )

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In this paper we present the results from the coverage and the orbit determination accuracy simulations performed within the recently completed ESA study “Assessment Study for Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) Demonstration System” (Airbus Defence and Space consortium). This study consisted in investigating the capability of a space based optical sensor (SBSS) orbiting in low Earth orbit (LEO) to detect and track objects in GEO (geosynchronous orbit), MEO (medium Earth orbit) and LEO and to determinate and improve initial orbits from such observations. Space based systems may achieve better observation conditions than ground based sensors in terms of astrometric accuracy, detection coverage, and timeliness. The primary observation mode of the proposed SBSS
demonstrator is GEO surveillance, i.e. the systematic search and detection of unknown and known objects. GEO orbits are specific and unique orbits from dynamical point of view. A space-based sensor may scan the whole GEO ring within one sidereal day if the orbit and pointing directions are chosen properly. For an efficient survey, our goal
was to develop a leak-proof GEO fence strategy. Collaterally, we show that also MEO,
LEO and other (GTO,Molniya, etc.) objects would be possible to observe by the system
and for a considerable number of LEO objects to down to size of 1 cm we can obtain meaningful statistical data for improvement and validation of space debris environment models

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Silha, Jiri; Schildknecht, Thomas and Hinze, Andreas


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




International Astronautical Federation ( IAF )




Alessandro Vananti

Date Deposited:

10 Apr 2015 16:51

Last Modified:

28 Nov 2020 02:25




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