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25 August 2009 Multi-spectral image analysis for improved space object characterization
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The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is studying the application and utility of various ground-based and space-based optical sensors for improving surveillance of space objects in both Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO). This information can be used to improve our catalog of space objects and will be helpful in the resolution of satellite anomalies. At present, ground-based optical and radar sensors provide the bulk of remotely sensed information on satellites and space debris, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. However, in recent years, the Space-Based Visible (SBV) sensor was used to demonstrate that a synthesis of space-based visible data with ground-based sensor data could provide enhancements to information obtained from any one source in isolation. The incentives for space-based sensing include improved spatial resolution due to the absence of atmospheric effects and cloud cover and increased flexibility for observations. Though ground-based optical sensors can use adaptive optics to somewhat compensate for atmospheric turbulence, cloud cover and absorption are unavoidable. With recent advances in technology, we are in a far better position to consider what might constitute an ideal system to monitor our surroundings in space. This work has begun at the AFRL using detailed optical sensor simulations and analysis techniques to explore the trade space involved in acquiring and processing data from a variety of hypothetical space-based and ground-based sensor systems. In this paper, we briefly review the phenomenology and trade space aspects of what might be required in order to use multiple band-passes, sensor characteristics, and observation and illumination geometries to increase our awareness of objects in space.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
William Glass, Michael J. Duggin, Raymond A. Motes, Keith A. Bush, and Meiling Klein "Multi-spectral image analysis for improved space object characterization", Proc. SPIE 7467, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments III, 74670K (25 August 2009);

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