Key Findings from the NEOSSat Space-Based SSA Microsatellite Mission


  1. Scott, R.L.
  2. Thorsteinson, S.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Ottawa Research Centre, Ottawa ON (CAN)
The Near-Earth Orbit Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat) is a microsatellite space telescope designed to track resident space objects and perform asteroid astronomy. Defence R&D Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency, developed NEOSSat to perform the HEOSS (High Earth Orbit Space Surveillance) Space Situational Awareness (SSA) mission and the NESS (Near Earth Space Surveillance) asteroid astronomy mission supporting research activities in the Canadian Department of National Defence and supporting Canadian astronomy. A space surveillance satellite orbiting in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) provides advantages for Canadian SSA operations. For instance, the microsatellite’s ability to observe resident space objects uninterrupted by the day-night cycle while being unaffected by terrestrial weather offers frequent tracking opportunities compared to ground-based sensors. A space-based sensor also provides the ability for Canada to monitor geosynchronous objects outside of Canadian geographic longitudes adding strategic value for Canadian SSA. In this paper, we discuss some of the key SSA lessons-learned using a microsatellite for SSA metrics, geosynchronous object characterization, and stressing orbital environment factors for optical satellite tracking from LEO. NEOSSat is now beginning an expanded mission phase. A description of some of the more unique experimentation, including observations of space objects conjuncting with NEOSSat itself and high value space asset monitori
Space Situational Awareness;NEOSSat
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2018-N166 — External Literature
Date of publication
01 Oct 2018
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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