Canadian GEO object Tracking using Combined NEOSSat and Ground-based optical observations – HEOSS Mission Part I


  1. Scott, R.
  2. Bernard, K.
  3. Thorsteinson, S.
  4. Wallace, B.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Ottawa Research Centre, Ottawa ON (CAN)
The NEOSSat microsatellite is conducting its Space Situational Awareness (SSA) mission to test the utility of microsatellites for the Canadian Armed Forces and to perform SSA experimentation which cannot be performed from the ground. One of the questions posed during the development of the NEOSSat SSA experimental plan is to understand the benefit of combined space-based and ground- based tracking data on the orbital quality of objects tracked in geostationary (GEO) orbit. To understand the contrast and benefits of ground-based and space-based tracking data, an experiment was devised using optical tracking data collected on the co-located Canadian geostationary satellite cluster Anik F1, Anik F1R and Anik G1 using both NEOSSat and the Defence R&D Canada-Ottawa Space Surveillance Observatory. Both space-based and ground-based tracking data were collected in a near simultaneous manner to support both metric (orbit determination) and photometric (object signature characterization) experiment needs to contrast the difference between these two sensors’ tracking capabilities. This paper describes orbit determination accuracies using the data collected on the satellite cluster for three different cases; a) ground-based measurements alone, b) space-based measurements alone, c) combined space and ground-based measurements and d) a special case where two space-based sensors are combined. We show the differences in orbital positioning capability and the advantages and disadvantages of
space surveillace;SSA;NEOSSat;HEOSS;microsatellites
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2016-N031 — External Literature
Date of publication
24 Oct 2016
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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