CAOSP abstracts, Volume: 49, No.: 2, year: 2019

Abstract: Space debris is an essential threat to the satellite infrastructure. Possible collisions with even small particles, e.g. 1 cm of size, can cause catastrophic events when the parent body, a spacecraft or an upper stage, breaks up into hundreds of small fragments. The space debris research and space surveillance tracking (SST) helps to discover, monitor and characterize these objects, identify their origins and support their active removal. There are two major observations strategies recognized for optical observations. The optical surveys aim to discover new objects for cataloguing or for statistical purposes. The follow-up observations are performed for catalogued objects to improve their orbits or to investigate their physical characteristics. A majority of the systems are focused on the high orbital regions when objects' orbits have mean motion less than ∼10 revolutions per day. For lower altitudes, so-called Low Earth Orbits (LEO), more complex tracking capabilities of the system are needed. In our work we present applications of small telescopes in space debris area, their usage for surveys, tracking and cataloguing. We discuss the world's largest optical SST networks, individual space debris research telescopes as well as the space debris research program at the domestic 70-cm telescope installed at the Astronomical and Geophysical Observatory in Modra (AGO), Slovakia, which belongs to and is operated by the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics of Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. We present products provided by these systems.

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Last update: May 30, 2019