Paper Title

Automated Calibration Techniques for Resident Space Object Observations with the ERAU OSCOM System

Presentation Type

Poster

Location

Henderson Welcome Center

Start Date

15-1-2018 8:00 AM

Abstract

Optical and Spectral characterization of CubeSats for Operational Missions (OSCOM) is a system designed at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to address the high failure rate of university lead CubeSat missions. It uses commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment and custom software to track resident space objects (RSOs) as small as CubeSats, producing temporally resolved photometry. This helps determine characteristics such as satellite spin rate and attitude. The OSCOM team uses a custom Python program called Optical Satellite Analysis Tools (OSAT) to process acquired images and produce photometric results. Currently, this process remains time consuming and requires near constant user interaction. In addition, the process only produces instrumental, or uncalibrated, magnitude measurements of the RSO. Additional characteristics of the RSO such as surface albedo, can help identify surface materials on the satellite. This requires the instrumental magnitude of the satellite to be calibrated. The OSCOM team is working to develop an automated calibration software that will use the background stars in each image acquired during a satellite pass. By comparing the instrumental magnitudes of the background stars to their catalog magnitude, a relationship can be made to calculate the calibrated satellite magnitude. Source extraction methods are being implemented to extract the stars. The locations of the stars will be given to star identification algorithm that will pattern match the stars detected in the image with known stars around the approximated satellite position. We present the process of automatically calibrating satellite magnitudes to increase data turn around and provide more useful information to satellite operators.

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Jan 15th, 8:00 AM

Automated Calibration Techniques for Resident Space Object Observations with the ERAU OSCOM System

Henderson Welcome Center

Optical and Spectral characterization of CubeSats for Operational Missions (OSCOM) is a system designed at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to address the high failure rate of university lead CubeSat missions. It uses commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment and custom software to track resident space objects (RSOs) as small as CubeSats, producing temporally resolved photometry. This helps determine characteristics such as satellite spin rate and attitude. The OSCOM team uses a custom Python program called Optical Satellite Analysis Tools (OSAT) to process acquired images and produce photometric results. Currently, this process remains time consuming and requires near constant user interaction. In addition, the process only produces instrumental, or uncalibrated, magnitude measurements of the RSO. Additional characteristics of the RSO such as surface albedo, can help identify surface materials on the satellite. This requires the instrumental magnitude of the satellite to be calibrated. The OSCOM team is working to develop an automated calibration software that will use the background stars in each image acquired during a satellite pass. By comparing the instrumental magnitudes of the background stars to their catalog magnitude, a relationship can be made to calculate the calibrated satellite magnitude. Source extraction methods are being implemented to extract the stars. The locations of the stars will be given to star identification algorithm that will pattern match the stars detected in the image with known stars around the approximated satellite position. We present the process of automatically calibrating satellite magnitudes to increase data turn around and provide more useful information to satellite operators.