We describe the process of retrofitting an existing Raven telescope with enhanced optical and detector improvements that enable the system autonomously to collect color photometric data. Since it is a commercial system, it provides a low-cost approach for the study of man-made satellites, stars, asteroids, and other space objects. The system upgrades include filter capabilities, a Charge-coupled Device (CCD) camera system, a robust mount, and replacement of the existing telescope with one of larger aperture. Raven systems are not new to the realm of contributing sensors in tracking man-made satellites, and our program represents a logical increase in performance and capabilities as new commercial items have become available. Therefore, this current Raven Signatures Testbed is the latest evolution of such small, lightweight, remote, autonomous systems. This telescope will increase the productivity of the Satellite Signatures Program at the Air Force Research Laboratory by increases in observation time and by enabling remote operations along with autonomous data collection and storage.
The Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate has collected and analyzed passive Multispectral radiometric data using two different sets of filters: astronomical broad-band Johnson filters and the Space Object Identification In Living Color (SILC) filters for Space Situational Awareness (SSA) of geosynchronous satellites (GEOs). The latter set of filters was designed as part of the SILC Space Battlelab initiative. The radiometric data of geosynchronous satellites were taken using a charge-coupled device (CCD) on the 24-inch Ritchey-Chretien telescope at Capilla Peak Observatory of the University of New Mexico. The target list is comprised of satellites with similar and dissimilar bus structures. Additionally, some of the satellites are in a cluster. The results presented will show the advances in classifying GEOs by their bus type and a resolution scenario of cluster cross tagging using Multispectral radiometric measurements.
This is the fourth paper in a continuing study on the standard photometric signatures of geosynchronous earth orbit, GEO, communication satellites. Here we present the results of photopolarimetric measurements taken at the Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate's Starfire Optical Range.. These limited set of measurements were conducted in order to determine if GEO communication satellites have measurable polarization, and is so, if there are differences between the satellites. Measurable polarization was detected. This polarization was seen throughout the night varying smoothly from a minimum at local midnight, approximately 10%, to a maximum at dawn of approximately 40%. This is distinctly different from the radiometric signals which is a maximum at local midnight and decreases toward dawn and dusk. This polarization is found to be distinct for each GEO satellite bus. Also, serendipidously it is found that when measuring through cirrus clouds, the photopolarimetric signal is not lost, although it is changed.
The Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate has collected and analyzed photometric data using the SILC filters for Space Object Identification (SOI) of geosynchronous (GEO) satellites. This set of filters was designed as part of the Space Battlelab initiative, SOI In Living Color (SILC). The photometric data of geosynchronous satellites were taken using a charge-coupled device (CCD) on the 24-inch Ritchey-Chretien telescope at Capilla Peak Observatory of the University of New Mexico. The objects under discussion are satellites with similar and dissimilar bus structures in a cluster. The data and analysis results to date are discussed.
We seek to examine near-IR photometric signatures for geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) communication satellites. To this end, we present a set of high quality photometric measurements for a sample of ten GEOs. The observations were made with a standard set of broad band astronomical filters (Johnson filters), using the 3.6 meter telescope at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate Starfire Optical Range, Kirtland AFB, NM. The results indicate that near-IR photometric signatures can be used to distinguish among different satellite classes. Other uses of the data, e.g. anomaly resolution and health status, are discussed.
In this paper we present (1) the optical system design and operational overview, (2) laboratory evaluation spectra, and (3) a sample of the first observational data taken with HYSAT. The hyperspectral sensor systems which are being developed and whose utility is being pioneered by the Phillips Laboratory are applicable to several important SOI (space object identification), military, and civil applications including (1) spectral signature simulations, satellite model validation, and satellite database observations and (3) simultaneous spatial/spectral observations of booster plumes for strategic and surrogate tactical missile signature identification. The sensor system is also applicable to a wide range of other applications, including astronomy, camouflage discrimination, smoke chemical analysis, environmental/agricultural resource sensing, terrain analysis, and ground surveillance. Only SOI applications will be discussed here.