Date of Award
Master of Science
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Matthew E. Goda, PhD
Raven is an award-winning optical system design paradigm that couples commercially available hardware and software along with custom data analysis and control software to produce low-cost, autonomous, and very capable space surveillance systems. The first product of the Raven program was a family of telescopes capable of generating world-class optical observation data of deep-space satellites. The key to this system was the use of astrometric techniques for position and brightness data. Astrometry compares a satellite to the star background within the sensor field of view; since the position and brightness of the star-field is well known in star catalogs, accurate knowledge of the satellite position and brightness can be deduced from this comparison. Efforts are now underway to produce a similar system capable of tracking low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites: the LEO Raven. Tracking LEO objects presents several new challenges, most notably the speed of the satellite relative to the star-field and the lighting conditions. The current system works in the visible light band that requires terminator tracking conditions where the ground station is in the dark and the satellite is solar illuminated. Since this is not typically the case for LEO satellites, the first LEO Raven is being designed to use infrared light bands for daylight tracking. This thesis presents the results of risk-reduction daylight astrometry experiments using the Maui Space Surveillance Site's Daylight Acquisition Sensor.
DTIC Accession Number
Nelson, Joel E., "Infrared Methods for Daylight Acquisition of LEO Satellites" (2004). Theses and Dissertations. 4119.