Light curve database of Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern

Silha, Jiri; Schildknecht, Thomas; Pittet, Jean-Noël; Hamara, M. (2016). Light curve database of Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern. In: 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC). Curran Associates, Inc.

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Since 2007 the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern (AIUB) is using its 1-meter telescope ZIMLAT situated at the Zimmerwald observatory, Switzerland to collect light curves of space debris objects including defunct
spacecraft, upper stages and fragments. The last two and half years, 2014,
2015 and 2016, can be considered as the most productive for the Zimmerwald light curve acquisition. Several different photometric campaigns have been
performed which were focused on Low Earth Orbit (LEO) targets suitable for future Active Debris Removal (ADR) missions, on regular monitoring of large defunct spacecraft in LEO and in the GLONASS constellation, and on new
objects discovered during the Zimmerwald and ESA Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) surveys. From each lightcurve we extracted some information about the attitude motion. This information includes a general characterization
of the attitude behaviour, like “stable” or “tumbling” state, and, if applicable
, also the determination of the apparent spin period and the reconstruction of the phase. Our paper will discuss the photometry observation techniques currently in use at the Zimmerwald observatory and the processing of the light curves with the aim to determine apparent spin periods and to reconstruct the
irphases. Spin rates for objects acquired with the ZIMLAT telescope during the last two years will be discussed and the morphology of their reconstructed phases will be briefly presented.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Astronomy

UniBE Contributor:

Silha, Jiri; Schildknecht, Thomas and Pittet, Jean-Noël


500 Science > 520 Astronomy




Curran Associates, Inc.




Alessandro Vananti

Date Deposited:

13 Feb 2017 15:24

Last Modified:

10 Nov 2017 18:26




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