Space situational awareness CubeSat concept of operations
O'Brien, Tolulope E.
Scott, Alan D.
Newman James H.
Horning, James A.
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The concept of space situational awareness (SSA) is important to preserve manned and unmanned space operations. Traditionally, ground based radar, electro-optical sensors and very limited space-based assets have been used as part of the space surveillance network (SSN) to track orbital debris, inactive and active satellites alike. With the current SSN assets aging and the need for SSA growing, it is important to explore new ways to ensure proper SSA is maintained to preserve space operations. The Space-based Telescope for the Actionable Refinement of Ephemeris (STARE) project was initiated to explore the potential for a cube satellite (CubeSat) to contribute to the current SSN, with an optical payload integrated into a 3U Colony II Bus. The bus and payload data from the CubeSat will be collected by the Naval Postgraduate School Mobile CubeSat Command and Control ground station. Telemetry data from the bus will be analyzed at NPS and the payload data at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This thesis outlines the concept of operation for the STARE CubeSat and investigates the possibility of using the data generated by STARE to augment the SSN to reduce the errors associated with conjunction analysis performed at the Joint Space Operations Center.
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