Optical observations of Briz-M fragments in GEO

Silha, Jiri; Schildknecht, Thomas; Flohrer, Tim (2016). Optical observations of Briz-M fragments in GEO. AMOS Conference Technical Papers. Curran Associates, Inc.

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On January 21, 2016 the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) of the US Strategic Command was informing about a possible breakup of a Briz-M upper stage in the geostationary ring. This upper stage with the International Designator 2015-075B is associated with the launch of the Russian Cosmos 2513 which took place only 6 weeks earlier on December 13, 2015. The same day, ESA together with the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern (AIUB) prepared for a survey campaign using the 1-meter Space Debris Telesc
ope (ESASDT) at ESA’s Optical Ground Station on Tenerife and AIUB’s sensors at the Zimmerwald Observatory. The selection of the survey strategy to search for fragments of this event was based on a synthetic debris cloud, assuming a hypothetical fragmentation epoch (the real fragmentation
epoch was not known at this time). Observations with the ESASDT were performed on January 23 and 24, and in additional two nights in February. The uncorrelated objects found during this campaign were followed-up with the Zimmerwald sensors. We will present the observation results and the challenges related to the association of the candidate fragment tracklets with each other, the initial orbit determination, and the determination of the breakup epoch.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Silha, Jiri, Schildknecht, Thomas, Flohrer, Tim


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




Curran Associates, Inc.




Alessandro Vananti

Date Deposited:

13 Feb 2017 15:14

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:00

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