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A new method for catalogue correlation of space objects

Shengxian Yu1,Rongyu Sun1
Purple Mountain Observatory1

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


Survey of space objects is a very complicated procedure consisted of several interdependent steps. Every step plays an important role in seeking a perfect survey result. Catalogue correlation is very crucial during the whole course. There are mainly two correlation methods which are used frequently named orbit correlation algorithm and arc correlation algorithm simply. The first is to determine a six parameters orbit using a single tracklet by means of initial orbit determination, and then to correlate the tracklet by comparing the six parameters orbit and the orbits of catalogued space objects. The other method is independent of initial orbit determination. It transforms the orbits of catalogued space debris in celestial coordination to the topocentric astrometric positions in observation epoch when the tracklets happen. Hence the correlation is performed by comparing the observed tracklets and the computed tracklets. As we all know, the problem of initial orbit determination of short arcs is very difficult to solve. The general treatment is assuming the orbit is circular for the short tracklets. Obviously, it is not suitable for high eccentricity objects. The second method called arc correlation algorithm avoids the problem, hence it is applicable for space objects with different types of orbits. In the paper, a new method based on the second algorithm is proposed. The orbital errors of space objects are used in this method. Then the correlation results derived from these two algorithms are assessed. It is found that the algorithm with orbital errors is more reliable and efficient.