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Requirements for Observation Scenarios to Maintain a Catalogue of Space Debris Objects in Geosynchronous Region

Andreas Hinze1,Hauke Fiedler1,Thomas Schildknecht2

Document details

Publishing year2017 PublisherESA Space Debris Office Publishing typeConference Name of conference7th European Conference on Space Debris
Pagesn/a Volume
T. Flohrer, F. Schmitz


Optical observations for space debris in the geosynchronous region have been performed for many years. During this time, observation strategies, processing techniques and cataloguing approaches were successfully developed. The importance of protecting this orbital region from space debris requires continuous surveying and monitoring in order to support collision avoidance operations. Further observations of the objects, providing information for orbit improvement calculations, are helping to maintain high accuracy ephemeris of the catalogued objects. This paper presents an analysis of the probability to re-observe the objects within a catalogue by taking into account the orbit accuracy represented by their covariance matrix. Estimating process noise and measurement noise covariances, Kalman filtering is applied to assess the frequency and the number of necessary follow-up observations for catalogue maintenance. For reliable re-observations of the objects, observation constraints like e.g. the field of view are taken into account. Simulations are used to validate the results. Finally, the results are compared with other concepts of orbit improvement and cataloguing.