Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Tommei G., Milani A., Farnocchia D., Rossi A. Correlation of space debris observations by the virtual debris algorithm. In: Fifth European Conference on Space Debris (Darmstadt, Germania, 30 March - 2 April 2009). Proceedings, vol. ESA SP-672 (CD-ROM) article n. 9:3. H. Lacoste (ed.). ESA Communication Production Office, ESTEC, 2009.
The main problem in the orbit determination of the space debris population is the correlation of independently observed tracklets, that are sets of observations over a short time. The information contained in such data are not sufficient for a complete determination of an orbit, thus we need to find two or more tracklets belonging to the same physical object and an orbit fitting all the observations. In this paper we will show how to use the admissible region tool to generate a set of virtual objects (Virtual Debris) which can be used as alternate preliminary orbits and as starting points for a recursive procedure of correlation. We shall focus on optical observations of GEO showing some preliminary results testing the 2007 data by the ESA Optical Ground Station (OGS) at Teide Observatory (Canary Islands), after an astrometric reduction performed by University of Bern.
Subject Space debris; orbit determination; astrodynamics
J.2 Physical Sciences and Engineering
70M20 Orbital mechanics

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