Optical surveys for space debris in high-altitude orbits have been conducted since more than ten years. First observation strategies and processing techniques were successfully developed for the geostationary ring (GEO). The observations scenarios were adjusted for observations in the geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) and in the medium Earth orbit (MEO). After the already investigated circular MEO orbits of the GPS and GLONASS constellations the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern (AIUB) developed survey and follow-up strategies for the systematically search of space debris in highly-eccentric orbits in the MEO region, in particular in Molniya-type orbits. Several breakup events and deliberate fragmentations are known to have taken place in such orbits. The AIUB performed several survey campaigns between January 2013 and April 2013 to search for debris objects in this MEO region. The optical observations were conducted in the framework of an ESA study using ESA's Space Debris Telescope (ESASDT) the 1-m Zeiss telescope located at the Optical Ground Station (OGS) at the Teide Observatory at Tenerife, Spain. The results from the different observation campaigns will be presented.
6th European Conference on Space Debris
- Pub Date:
- August 2013