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Persistent URL http://purl.org/net/epubs/work/63748
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Record Id 63748
Title Satellite observations using the Chilbolton radar during the initial ESA 'CO-VI' tracking campaign
Abstract The Chilbolton radar, a high-power S-band system equipped with a fully-steerable 25 m diameter dish antenna, has hitherto been used almost exclusively for meteorological and atmospheric science-based research. This radar was recently modified for use as a tracking asset in support of ES’s Space Situational Awareness Preparatory Programme (SSA PP). In late November and early December of 2010, the radar participated in a set of satellite tracking measurements comprising the first campaign of the SSA PP?s „CO-VI? activity. This initial campaign involved observations of the satellites ENVISAT, METOP-A, CRYOSAT-2, GRACE-1, JASON-2, PROBA-1 and STARLETTE. In addition to these ESA-mandated objects, we also tracked the ISS, AQUA, COSMOS_1346, COSMOS_1782 and many IRIDIUM satellites. In subsequent CO-VI tracking campaigns during April and May 2011, over 40 different satellites were successfully observed resulting in several hundred recorded track-files. These included targets which had mechanically-scanned instruments; which were tumbling; which had interesting polarimetric signatures; and which performed on-orbit manoeuvres. In this paper, we report the details of the modifications to the Chilbolton radar which were necessary in order to adapt it for SSA work. We present examples of the satellite tracks obtained, and comment on interesting features noted in the data. We compare the calculated sensitivity of the radar in its current configuration with the results obtained in practice. We outline our future plans for upgrading the radar’s hardware and software, so as to improve detection performance against small-RCS targets. Finally, we discuss the use of the upgraded radar for Space Object Identification and characterisation by exploiting both its wideband waveform and polarimetric capabilities.
Organisation STFC , RALSP , RAL Space - EOASD
Keywords satellite , tracking , SSA , radar , space surveillance , Engineering
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Language English (EN)
Type Details URI(s) Local file(s) Year
Paper In Conference Proceedings In ESA European Space Surveillance Conference 2011, Madrid, Spain, 7-9 Jun 2011, (2011). Eastment_Chilbolt…er_for_essc-2011.pdf 2011