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Towards European Space-Based Optical Observations of Debris and NEOs

Jens Utzmann1
Airbus Defence and Space1

Document details

Publishing year2019 PublisherESA Space Safety Programme Office Publishing typeConference Name of conference1st NEO and Debris Detection Conference
Pagesn/a Volume
T. Flohrer, R. Jehn, F. Schmitz


Several ESA activities have paved the way for European space-based optical observation of both space debris and NEOs.
"ESA SSA CO-II SSA Architectural Design" identified a space-based capability as an ideal contributing asset for an overall Space Surveillance & Tracking (SST) system.
"ESA GSP SBSS Phase A" evaluated the feasibility of an SBSS demonstration mission based on a micro-satellite platform (~ 150 kg total) on a dawn-dusk sunsynchronous orbit and included the design of dedicated mission incl. instrument. Two types of missions were detailed: SST and Small LEO debris detections.
"ESA P2-SWE-X" identified a NEO monitoring mission as optional payload for an L1 or L5 Space Weather satellite.
The "ESA GSTP Optical In-Situ Monitor" breadboard system provides an optical facility to realistically test the end-to-end signal acquisition and processing chain with H/W in-the-loop for space-based space surveillance sensors.
The paper will provide an overview of these activities and show that technological readiness is achieved to enable initialisation of an Engineering and Flight Model of such a system.