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26 April 2010 Dual-use RF-based sensing for proximity and space weather event detection
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In this publication we propose an RF-based space situational awareness (SSA) system that provides proximity sensing and hazardous space weather sensing. In our approach we use wideband antennas to transmit an outgoing pulse and in return utilize the beam forming capability to detect the incoming wavefront from potential scattering points for proximity sensing. Similarly we simultaneously send and receive from an antenna pair and characterize the communication channel to ascertain the amount of ambient disruption to determine presence of hazardous space weather. We leverage characteristics of space debris which appear as rough pieces of metal with a large number of reflectors. Power consumption and detectability of small debris will certainly place a severe limitation on our approach to which we intend to leverage our multi-source capability to provide sufficient signal power for small object detectability. Several space phenomena involve charged particle streams with known plasma frequencies within our RF bandwidth which in turn results in a disruption of communication channels. We model these characteristics in our baseline calculation and indicate the presence of space weather when the baseline deviates from our normal operation. We can then utilize this to place the space asset in a hardened state to minimize damage all within sub-second response time.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Omid E. Kia, Brian N. Bradford, and Christopher T. Rodgers "Dual-use RF-based sensing for proximity and space weather event detection", Proc. SPIE 7669, Radar Sensor Technology XIV, 76690C (26 April 2010);

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