Skip to main content

Assessing the Suitability of the Chilbolton Radars for Space Debris and Space Surveillance Applications

Eastment, Jon D.1
Affiliation data not available1

Document details

Publishing year2009 PublisherESA Publishing typeConference Name of conference5th European Conference on Space Debris
Pagesn/a Volume
H. Lacoste


The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) operates several radars installed on its fully-steerable 25-metre diameter dish antenna at the Chilbolton Observatory in southern England. In the past, these radars have successfully detected a variety of satellite targets. High range resolution (HRR) radar profiling of ground-based targets has also been conducted. Recently, as part of the in-orbit testing activity for the EU 'Galileo' programme, the Chilbolton antenna has demonstrated highly accurate satellite tracking. This combination of satellite detection, HRR radar profiling and high-fidelity antenna tracking represents a useful capability for space debris and space surveillance work. Here, we describe the Chilbolton site, the 25-metre dish, its radars, and the results obtained in past experiments. Plans for future Space Situational Awareness (SSA)-related work at Chilbolton Observatory are outlined. The potential for Chilbolton, and other STFC assets, to contribute to the radar element of a European SSA network is discussed.