Effective Echo Detection and Accurate Orbit Estimation Algorithms for Space Debris Radar

Kentaro ISODA  Takuya SAKAMOTO  Toru SATO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E91-B   No.3   pp.887-895
Publication Date: 2008/03/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1093/ietcom/e91-b.3.887
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Sensing
space debris,  KSGC radar,  orbit estimation,  coherent integration,  

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Orbit estimation of space debris, objects of no inherent value orbiting the earth, is a task that is important for avoiding collisions with spacecraft. The Kamisaibara Spaceguard Center radar system was built in 2004 as the first radar facility in Japan devoted to the observation of space debris. In order to detect the smaller debris, coherent integration is effective in improving SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio). However, it is difficult to apply coherent integration to real data because the motions of the targets are unknown. An effective algorithm is proposed for echo detection and orbit estimation of the faint echoes from space debris. The characteristics of the evaluation function are utilized by the algorithm. Experiments show the proposed algorithm improves SNR by 8.32 dB and enables estimation of orbital parameters accurately to allow for re-tracking with a single radar.