A system design for space-based space surveillance

Utzmann, J.; Wagner, A.; Silha, Jiri; Schildknecht, Thomas; Willemsen, P.; Teston, F.; Flohrer, T. (2014). A system design for space-based space surveillance. In: Proceedings of Small Satellites Systems and Services Symposium. Porto Petro, Spain. 26.05.-30.05.2014.

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This paper presents the capabilities of a Space-Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) demonstration mission for Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) based on a micro- satellite platform. The results have been produced in the frame of ESA’s "As sessment Study for Space Based Space Surveillance Demonstration Mission (Phase A) " performed by the Airbus DS consortium. Space Surveillance and Tracking is part of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and covers the detection, tracking and cataloguing of spa ce debris and satellites. Derived SST services comprise a catalogue of these man-made objects, collision warning, detection and characterisation of in-orbit fragmentations, sub-catalogue debris characterisation, etc. The assessment of SBSS in an SST system architecture has shown that both an operational SBSS and also already a well - designed space-based demonstrator can provide substantial performance in terms of surveillance and tracking of beyond - LEO objects. Especially the early deployment of a demonstrator, possible by using standard equipment, could boost initial operating capability and create a self-maintained object catalogue. Unlike classical technology demonstration missions, the primary goal is the demonstration and optimisation of the functional elements in a complex end-to-end chain (mission planning, observation strategies, data acquisition, processing and fusion, etc.) until the final products can be offered to the users. The presented SBSS system concept takes the ESA SST System Requirements (derived within the ESA SSA Preparatory Program) into account and aims at fulfilling some of the SST core requirements in a stand-alone manner. The evaluation of the concept has shown that an according solution can be implemented with low technological effort and risk. The paper presents details of the system concept, candidate micro - satellite platforms, the observation strategy and the results of performance simulations for GEO coverage and cataloguing accuracy

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Silha, Jiri and Schildknecht, Thomas


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




Alessandro Vananti

Date Deposited:

09 Feb 2015 09:42

Last Modified:

09 Feb 2015 09:42





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