Measurement of Artificial-Satellite Spectra with a Small Telescope


  1. Lelievre, M.
  2. Levesque, M.P.
  3. Buteau, S.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
In the surveillance of space context, satellites positions must be frequently reacquired to maintain an accurate knowledge of their orbital parameters. However, acquiring several satellites in the same image (particularly in the geostationary belt) is not rare and it is often not possible to definitively identify each one of them. In such a case, important errors can be introduced into the database if incorrect associations are made. Therefore, being able to correctly identify each satellite is very important in order to make valid updates. To this end, the experiment described in this report tried to demonstrate that 1) satellites can be identified by using their spectral signatures and 2) these spectra can be acquired with a small telescope. However, even if color differences could be observed, the measuring system was not sensitive enough to properly demonstrate this hypothesis, and too few observations were performed (with only the brightest geostationary satellites) during the period when the telescope was available for this experiment. This report presents the few results that were obtained and explains the encountered difficulties. It also makes recommendations about the minimal equipment requirements to obtain results that could properly validate the experimental hypotheses.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TR-2006-141 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Feb 2007
Number of Pages

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