SMARTnet: A Sensor for Monitoring the Geostationary Ring

Herzog, Johannes; Fiedler, H.; Weigel, M.; Montenbruck, O.; Schildknecht, Thomas (2014). SMARTnet: A Sensor for Monitoring the Geostationary Ring. In: Proceedings of 24th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics. Laurel, Maryland. 05.-09.05.2014.

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As the number of space debris is increasing in the geostationary ring, it becomes mandatory for any satellite operator to avoid any collisions. Space debris in geosynchronous orbits may be observed with optical telescopes. Other than radar, that requires very large dishes and transmission powers for sensing high-altitude objects, optical observations do not depend on active
illumination from ground and may be performed with notably smaller apertures. The detection size of an object depends on the aperture of the telescope, sky background and exposure time. With a telescope of 50 cm aperture, objects down to approximately 50 cm may be observed. This size is
regarded as a threshold for the identification of hazardous objects and the prevention of potentially catastrophic collisions in geostationary orbits. In collaboration with the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern (AIUB), the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) is building a small aperture telescope to demonstrate the feasibility of optical surveillance of the geostationary ring. The telescope will be located in the southern hemisphere and complement an existing telescope in the northern hemisphere already operated by AIUB. These two telescopes provide an optimum coverage of European GEO satellites and enable a continuous monitoring independent of seasonal limitations. The telescope will be operated completely automatically. The automated operations should be demonstrated covering the full range of activities including scheduling of observations, telescope and camera control as well as data processing.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Herzog, Johannes and Schildknecht, Thomas


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




Alessandro Vananti

Date Deposited:

10 Sep 2015 14:46

Last Modified:

23 Feb 2021 19:28




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