Skip to main content

Space Surveillance Observations at the AIUB Zimmerwald Observatory

Herzog, J. 1, Schildknecht, T. 1, Hinze, A. 1, Ploner, M. 1, Vananti, A.1
Affiliation data not available1

Document details

Publishing year2013 PublisherESA Publishing typeConference Name of conference6th European Conference on Space Debris
Pagesn/a Volume
L. Ouwehand


At the Zimmerwald observatory optical observations of artificial space objects are performed with the 1m Laser and Astrometry Telescope, ZIMLAT, and the Small Robotic Telescope, ZimSMART. While ZIMLAT is used for follow-up observations of small-size space debris objects to maintain their orbits and determine physical characteristics, the main objective of ZimSMART is to perform systematic surveys of high-altitude orbit regions, in particular of the geostationary ring (GEO). The goal of these observations is to build-up and maintain orbit catalogues of objects in high-altitude orbits, including a catalogue of small-size debris with high area-to-mass ratios. Orbits from these catalogues are used to routinely track and characterize space debris with ZIMLAT, e. g. by means of light curve measurements. One essential task of the space debris research is to find and understand the sources of debris, which in turn will enable to devise efficient mitigation measures - a prerequisite for the sustainable use of outer space. This paper will present the individual campaigns to detect, observe and characterise space debris objects. We will focus on survey observations of the Geostationary Ring and the MEO region performed by ZimSMART, and follow-up as well as light curve observations by ZIMLAT.