27 December 2001 Determining the material type of man-made orbiting objects using low-resolution reflectance spectroscopy
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Abstract
The purpose of this research is to improve the knowledge of the physical properties of orbital debris, specifically the material type. Combining the use of the fast-tracking United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) telescopes with a common astronomical technique, spectroscopy, and NASA resources was a natural step toward determining the material type of orbiting objects remotely. Currently operating at the AFRL Maui Optical Site (AMOS) is a 1.6-meter telescope designed to track fast moving objects like those found in lower Earth orbit (LEO). Using the spectral range of 0.4 - 0.9 microns (4000 - 9000 angstroms), researchers can separate materials into classification ranges. Within the above range, aluminum, paints, plastics, and other metals have different absorption features as well as slopes in their respective spectra. The spectrograph used on this telescope yields a three-angstrom resolution; large enough to see smaller features mentioned and thus determine the material type of the object. The results of the NASA AMOS Spectral Study (NASS) are presented herein.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Kira Jorgensen, John L. Africano, Eugene G. Stansbery, Paul W. Kervin, Kris M. Hamada, Paul F. Sydney, "Determining the material type of man-made orbiting objects using low-resolution reflectance spectroscopy", Proc. SPIE 4490, Multifrequency Electronic/Photonic Devices and Systems for Dual-Use Applications, (27 December 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.455430; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.455430
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