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Type: Journal article
Title: Low earth orbit object observations using the Buckland Park VHF radar
Author: Holdsworth, D.A.
Spargo, A.J.
Reid, I.M.
Adami, C.
Citation: Radio Science, 2020; 55(2):1-19
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 0048-6604
Statement of
David A. Holdsworth, Andrew J. Spargo, Iain M. Reid, Christian Adami
Abstract: There is increasing interest in space situational awareness worldwide, motivating investigation of the use of nontraditional sensors for space surveillance. This paper presents preliminary results investigating the use of a VHF wind profiling radar for observing objects in low Earth orbit. This radar class is low cost relative to other radars typically applied to this task. The results reveal that 2,410 objects were detected over 15 days, with 1,392 unique objects detected. The daily detection count rates ranged from 150 to 200, and the maximum detection height observed was 2,491 km. The radar's utility for object catalog maintenance is demonstrated by its ability to determine propagation state vector errors, and through observations of the Chinese space station Tiangong‐1 in the last months of its return to Earth. The results suggest the measurements may be able to provide useful ionospheric parameters such as total electron content (TEC) measurements, provided high precision ephemeris data are available for the detected objects.
Keywords: Space surveillance; atmospheric rada; satellites; wind profiler; ionosphere; VHF radar
Rights: © 2020 Commonwealth of Australia. Defence Science and Technology Group. Radio Science © 2020 American Geophysical Union.
DOI: 10.1029/2019RS006873
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