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Abstract

OSCOM, Optical tracking and Spectral characterization of CubeSats for Operational Missions, is a system developed at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to produce time-resolved photometry of small satellites using commercial-off-the-shelf hardware. OSCOM has been able to observe resident space objects (RSOs) as small as CubeSats using a Celestron 11” RASA and a CMOS machine vision camera from Allied Vision. By obtaining photometric measurements of satellites, a light curve can be constructed and used to help determine satellite characteristics such as spin rate, satellite state, and even satellite attitude. To enhance the OSCOM system’s ability to observe small satellites, there is ongoing development towards an automated and more capable tracking system. This includes upgrading OSCOM’s tracking software, Auriga, planned development of an automated data analysis software and demonstrating the capabilities of a newly acquired Celestron 14” Edge HD (C14), which can be used for resolved imaging of large satellites and rockets and with a Starizona Hyperstar, and also can be used to observe dimmer RSOs that have low signal to noise ratio when detected by the 11” RASA. This paper discusses the software improvements to the OSCOM system and results acquired from the default C14 and C14 with Hyperstar configurations.

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