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Study of Capabilities of Optical Network of Small Satellites (SS) to Solve Problems of Space Objects Observation


V.N. Lagutkin, A.P. Lukyanov, A.D. Lukyanova

Optical network on low-sized small satellites (SS) provides essential capabilities of space objects (SO) observation in comparison with ground-based telescopes, and so can be used to solve problems of near-earth astronomy in future. These capabilities include: – detection and observation of SO outside the operational zone of ground-based telescopes; – detection and observation of SO above arbitrary point of the globe in the conditions of their solar illumination; – detection and observation of SO regardless of meteorological conditions; – high periodicity of SO observation in the process of inspection of their dangerous approach to space satellites. To study the effectiveness of SO observation from the space a mathematical model was constructed. It provided an opportunity to simulate the observation process for various orbital parameters of SS-observing system, various characteristics of installed detection instruments (sizes and orientation of field of view, sensitivity, exposure time), and various orbit parameters of observed SO. After simulation and decision the task of optimal observation management the estimates of effectiveness of detection SO were obtained for various configurations of SS-observers orbits. It gave the ground to develop reasonable requirements to the number of SS-observers and characteristics of their instruments. Conclusions 1. Substantiated choice of fields of view orientation of SS observation cameras is made. The chosen direction is almost perpendicular to the orbit plane of SS-observers and directed alongside with the solar light. 2. An increase of observation performances of SO with increase of orbit height of SS-observers is demonstrated. 3. A version with pivotally mounted cameras is considered with estimation of its effectiveness. 4. A tolerance of space system performances to switching off several SS-observers is shown. 5. Principal possibility of space system of SS-observers to detect and estimate orbit parameters of SO with diameter 3-5 cm is shown.
June 24, 2020
May 29, 2020

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