Abstract Title

Simulating Spacecraft Photometry Using Scanline Rendering Frameworks

Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

group

Authors' Class Standing

Henry Valentine, Junior Nathan Graves, Junior Aroh Barjatya, Professor

Lead Presenter's Name

Henry Valentine

Faculty Mentor Name

Aroh Barjatya

Abstract

One of the foremost objectives of Space Situational Awareness initiatives is to obtain complete physical characterizations of observed Resident Space Objects (RSOs). This includes RSO attitude, material makeup, number and status of deployables, etc. Often, this problem is addressed by conducting systematic analyses of the light curves generated by optical and/or radio observations of a given satellite. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Computational Photometry Analyzer for Small Satellites (COMPASS) seeks to provide an efficient graphical means of simulating such observations and producing spacecraft photometry for the purpose of developing quasi-brute-force photometry inversion algorithms and obtaining comprehensive optical characterization profiles for satellites whose CAD models are available. Using Commercial/Off-The-Shelf rendering software frameworks, the shape, material properties, and rotational motion of a given satellite model are recreated in order to generate simulated light curves. These light curves are then compared to the photometry produced by a physical construction of the same satellite model in a controlled lighting, low-reflectance observation chamber. In observing the similarities between the graphically generated and observed light curves, the accuracy and effectiveness of the COMPASS framework is assessed.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

Yes, Ignite Grant

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Simulating Spacecraft Photometry Using Scanline Rendering Frameworks

One of the foremost objectives of Space Situational Awareness initiatives is to obtain complete physical characterizations of observed Resident Space Objects (RSOs). This includes RSO attitude, material makeup, number and status of deployables, etc. Often, this problem is addressed by conducting systematic analyses of the light curves generated by optical and/or radio observations of a given satellite. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Computational Photometry Analyzer for Small Satellites (COMPASS) seeks to provide an efficient graphical means of simulating such observations and producing spacecraft photometry for the purpose of developing quasi-brute-force photometry inversion algorithms and obtaining comprehensive optical characterization profiles for satellites whose CAD models are available. Using Commercial/Off-The-Shelf rendering software frameworks, the shape, material properties, and rotational motion of a given satellite model are recreated in order to generate simulated light curves. These light curves are then compared to the photometry produced by a physical construction of the same satellite model in a controlled lighting, low-reflectance observation chamber. In observing the similarities between the graphically generated and observed light curves, the accuracy and effectiveness of the COMPASS framework is assessed.