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Presentation Information     2018-10-01 (14:15)   •  4307

Speaker Karl Bengtsson Bernander  (CBA)
Type Master thesis presentation
Title A Method for Detecting Resident Space Objects and Orbit Determination Based on Star Trackers and Image Analysis
Abstract As more and more satellites are put into orbit, the danger of space debris increases. This debris consists of discarded rocket bodies, inactive satellites and small fragments. The consequence could be a chain collision of fragments and satellites, essentially creating a mine field around the earth. This is depicted in the movie Gravity. Meanwhile, digital cameras called star trackers are used for navigational purposes aboard satellites. These calculate a satellite’s attitude, its direction in space, by determining the image positions of the stars and comparing them to internal databases of star constellations. Space debris and active satellites will appear as faint lines in these images. In my master thesis I demonstrate a framework for how to detect the lines and compute the objects' angular positions. This information can be combined with other data to compute a preliminary orbit of the objects. The purpose is to assist in building a catalogue of orbiting satellites and space debris. The catalogue could be used as a basis for satellites conducting evasive maneuvers or future missions to remove the debris.