SMARTnet: First Experience of Setting Up a Telescope System to Survey the Geostationary Ring

Fiedler, H.; Weigel, M.; Herzog, J.; Schildknecht, Thomas; Prohaska, Marcel; Ploner, Martin; Montenbruck, O. (2015). SMARTnet: First Experience of Setting Up a Telescope System to Survey the Geostationary Ring. In: Proceedings of 25th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics. Munich, Germany.

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Space debris in geostationary orbits may be detected with optical telescopes when the objects are illuminated by the Sun. The advantage compared to Radar can be found in the illumination: radar illuminates the objects and thus the detection sensitivity depletest proportional to the fourth power of the d
istance. The German Space Operation Center, GSOC, together with the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern, AIUB, are setting up a telescope system called SMARTnet to demonstrate the capability of performing geostationary surveillance. Such a telescope system will consist of two telescopes on one mount: a smaller telescope with an aperture of 20cm will serve for fast survey while the larger one, a telescope with an aperture of 50cm, will be used for follow-up observations. The telescopes will be operated by GSOC from Oberpfaffenhofen by the internal monitoring and control system called SMARTnetMAC. The observation plan will be generated by MARTnetPlanning seven days in advance by applying an optimized planning scheduler, taking into account fault time like cloudy nights, priority of objects etc. From each picture taken, stars will be identified and everything not being a star is treated as a possible object. If the same object can be identified on
multiple pictures within a short time span, the trace is called a tracklet.
In the next step, several tracklets will be correlated to identify individual objects, ephemeris data for these objects are generated and catalogued
. This will allow for services like collision avoidance to ensure safe operations
for GSOC’s satellites. The complete data processing chain is handled by BACARDI, the backbone catalogue of relational debris information and is
presented as a poster.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Schildknecht, Thomas, Prohaska, Marcel, Ploner, Martin (B)


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




Alessandro Vananti

Date Deposited:

14 Dec 2015 16:29

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:34




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