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On the Horizon: New ESA Laser Ranging Station (ELRS) with Debris Tracking Capabilities

Andre Kloth1,Jens Steinborn1,Thomas Schildknecht2,Michael Steindorfer3,Franz Koidl3,Georg Kirchner3
DiGOS Potsdam GmbH1AIUB Astronomical Institute of University of Bern2IWF Austrian Academy of Sciences, Space Research Institute3

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


A new, mostly COTS based “Laser Ranging Station for Cooperative Targets” is being built for European Space Agency (ESA) by a consortium of European companies and institutes (D, A, CH, LV) under the lead of DiGOS Potsdam GmbH. The objective of the ELRS is to establish a flexible and economical basis for various applications. Starting from laser ranging to cooperative targets and demonstrating passive-optical debris tracking, it allows for easy future upgrades, like for non-cooperative targets/debris ranging, for space-to-ground laser communication, and for serving as a general test bed for optical technologies. We will present the multi-purpose concept and the flexibilities of the design of ELRS with a focus on current and future debris tracking capabilities being strongly advanced together with the scientific partners IWF and AIUB.