Research Program 3
Space Asset Management
Research Program 3 focuses on developing techniques, algorithms and databases to predict and avoid potential collisions in space. A research aim is the development of systems to allow multi-national contributions from diverse sensors to space object catalogues and a standard approach to asset management. This project involves collaboration with SERC international partners to develop a global space catalogue and distribution system and includes the sub-programs “Space Catalogues” and “Conjunctions Analysis and Threat Warning”.
3.1 Space Catalogues: Partners involved in this program include Electro Optic Systems (EOS) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMC). SERC researchers are developing specialised space object catalogues to be used for collision mitigation. SERC is creating an ongoing catalogue of the 3,000 debris objects most likely to be involved in a collision in the upcoming seven days. This dynamic catalogue is a new concept which will allow overwhelmed tracking resources to focus on the immediate threats rather than on all debris objects.
3.2 Conjunctions Analysis and Threat Warning: This project involves collaboration with EOS, ANU, RMIT and Optus. If a close conjunction can be predicted 24 hours in advance of the event then most active satellites can be manoeuvred into a safer orbit. SERC research will develop a conjunction analysis capability for all known space objects and provide collision alerts to users. This process is currently employed by the US Air Force/Joint Space Operations Center however only focuses on collisions involving US satellites. SERC fills this void by actively mitigating collisions involving non-US satellites by tasking tracking assets.