The growing population of artificial satellites in near-Earth orbit has made the monitoring of orbital debris objects ever more important. Orbital debris objects pose a threat to these satellites as their orbit cannot be changed in order to avoid a collision. In recent years, the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) programme has been assisting national institutions in the upgrading of their space debris detection and monitoring capabilities. One of the latest such systems within this programme is the BIRALES space surveillance system based in Italy. The receiving antenna is a radio telescope that is made up of 32 receivers which are placed on eight parabolic cylindrical reflectors of the North-South arm of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)'s Northern Cross. This work introduces a new software backend which was developed for this novel space debris sensor. The system was designed to be a fast, highly configurable software backend for the radio telescope's acquisition and processing system and whose monitoring and control can be realized by a simple front-end web-based application. The real-time detection of Resident Space Object (RSO) is an important prerequisite for such a system as it gives the operator an immediate feedback loop on any detections whilst keeping the storage requirements at a minimum given that there is no need to save the raw data. The detection of high-velocity objects is achieved by means of a specially developed data processing pipeline that uses the received raw antenna voltages to generate a number of beams, collectively known as a multipixel, that cover the Field of View (FoV) of the instrument. The trajectory of the detected objects is determined by considering the illumination sequence within this multipixel. The initial results on known objects represent the first steps in extending the growing network of European SST systems.

PyBIRALES: A Radar Data Processing Backend for the Real-Time Detection of Space Debris

Di Lizia, P.;Massari, M.;Losacco, M.
2020-01-01

Abstract

The growing population of artificial satellites in near-Earth orbit has made the monitoring of orbital debris objects ever more important. Orbital debris objects pose a threat to these satellites as their orbit cannot be changed in order to avoid a collision. In recent years, the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) programme has been assisting national institutions in the upgrading of their space debris detection and monitoring capabilities. One of the latest such systems within this programme is the BIRALES space surveillance system based in Italy. The receiving antenna is a radio telescope that is made up of 32 receivers which are placed on eight parabolic cylindrical reflectors of the North-South arm of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)'s Northern Cross. This work introduces a new software backend which was developed for this novel space debris sensor. The system was designed to be a fast, highly configurable software backend for the radio telescope's acquisition and processing system and whose monitoring and control can be realized by a simple front-end web-based application. The real-time detection of Resident Space Object (RSO) is an important prerequisite for such a system as it gives the operator an immediate feedback loop on any detections whilst keeping the storage requirements at a minimum given that there is no need to save the raw data. The detection of high-velocity objects is achieved by means of a specially developed data processing pipeline that uses the received raw antenna voltages to generate a number of beams, collectively known as a multipixel, that cover the Field of View (FoV) of the instrument. The trajectory of the detected objects is determined by considering the illumination sequence within this multipixel. The initial results on known objects represent the first steps in extending the growing network of European SST systems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1133325
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