31 October 1996 TRADEX autonomous catalog maintenance experiment (TRACM)
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Abstract
The TRADEX radar at the Kwajalein Missile Range (KMR) introduces a new debris characteriation capability to the space surveillance commuity. A single-sensor debris cataloging capability for small uncorrelated targets (UCTs) was recently demonstrated in a TRADEX autonomous catalog maintenance (TRACM) experiment. The experiment validated a number of new TRADEX space surveillance tools and integrated them with the unique Stare and Chase mode in which TRADEX finds and tracks small UCTs (objects less than 10 cm in diameter) at a rate of one new object per hour. Orbital elements for Stare and Chase acquisitions were determined from recorded track data and were of sufficient quality to permit re-acquisition by TRaDEX on subsequent passes. The experimental procedure is described and results are summarized in terms of successful re-tracks for objects maintained in a local proof-of-concept catalog. The catalog was established during the second half of a two month effort and individual debris objects were cataloged for up to 26 days. Comparison of TRADEX re-track performance for UCTs versus re-track performance for objects already cataloged by the space surveillance network (SSN) are also indicated. Conclusions and recommendations for further work are included.
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Stephen W. Six, Stephen W. Six, Raymond A. LeClair, Raymond A. LeClair, } "TRADEX autonomous catalog maintenance experiment (TRACM)", Proc. SPIE 2813, Characteristics and Consequences of Orbital Debris and Natural Space Impactors, (31 October 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.256059; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.256059
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