Research Program 1
Tracking, Characterising and Identifying Objects in Orbit, and Preservation of the Space Environment
This program is developing solutions for reliable and accurate observation and tracking of space objects, better monitoring and cataloguing of space debris, orbit conjunction analysis and collision mitigation and includes the sub programs “Active tracking for Low Earth Orbit” (LEO), “Debris Characterisation and Object Database” and “Geostationary Object (GEO) Tracking and High Precision Orbit Determination”.
1.1 Active Track for LEO: Collaborative research members involved in this project include Electro Optic Systems (EOS), Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMC) and the Australian National University (ANU). This program is researching new technologies for the re-acquisition and tracking of known debris objects, to allow cost-effective monitoring and maintenance of large numbers of debris orbits. This program leverages the expertise of EOS, LMC and ANU in optical sky survey and detection as a base and develops novel techniques to efficiently detect and provide precision orbit determination for new (currently uncatalogued) objects.
1.2 Debris Characterisation and Object Database: Collaborative research members involved in this program include EOS, RMIT University (RMIT) and LMC. This program focuses on tracking data and target signatures (e.g. brightness, shape, and reflectivity) with new imaging technology to develop physical information about each object. Sample databases are being developed for testing models so that large-scale databases can be later developed under licence using the Space Environment Research Centre’s characterisation technology.
1.3 GEO Object Tracking: Collaborative research members involved in this project include EOS, Optus and ANU. This program focuses on extending our ability to track objects at GEO. In addition to imaging sensor development this research program is developing laser tracking at GEO and ultra-high resolution imaging. For laser tracking at GEO we are building on the improvements achieved by Australian researchers alone in the past decade. For ultra-high resolution imaging we are developing astrometry based on adaptive optics thereby improving the ability to track.
1.4 Adaptive Optics [AO] and Energy Transmission through the Atmosphere: ANU, EOS and LMC are collaborating on this program to develop high power laser combining technologies and AO capabilities to allow high intensity laser beams to be propagated in a controlled way through the atmosphere.