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Open AccessArticle

Multi-Site Simultaneous Time-Resolved Photometry with a Low Cost Electro-Optics System

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Space and Atmospheric Instrumentation Lab, Center for Space and Atmospheric Research, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, USA
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Ann & H. J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of an earlier conference paper: Forrest Gasdia, Aroh Barjatya, Sergei Bilardi. Time-resolved CubeSat photometry with a low cost electro-optics system. In Proceedings of Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference, Maui, HI, USA, 20–23 September 2016.
Academic Editor: Caterina Ciminelli
Sensors 2017, 17(6), 1239; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17061239
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 24 May 2017 / Published: 30 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Sunlight reflected off of resident space objects can be used as an optical signal for astrometric orbit determination and for deducing geometric information about the object. With the increasing population of small satellites and debris in low Earth orbit, photometry is a powerful tool in operational support of space missions, whether for anomaly resolution or object identification. To accurately determine size, shape, spin rate, status of deployables, or attitude information of an unresolved resident space object, multi-hertz sample rate photometry is required to capture the relatively rapid changes in brightness that these objects can exhibit. OSCOM, which stands for Optical tracking and Spectral characterization of CubeSats for Operational Missions, is a low cost and portable telescope system capable of time-resolved small satellite photometry, and is field deployable on short notice for simultaneous observation from multiple sites. We present the electro-optical design principles behind OSCOM and light curves of the 1.5 U DICE-2 CubeSat and simultaneous observations of the main body of the ASTRO-H satellite after its fragmentation event. View Full-Text
Keywords: small telescopes; photometry; small satellites; unresolved object characterization; multi-site observation; space situational awareness small telescopes; photometry; small satellites; unresolved object characterization; multi-site observation; space situational awareness
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Gasdia, F.; Barjatya, A.; Bilardi, S. Multi-Site Simultaneous Time-Resolved Photometry with a Low Cost Electro-Optics System . Sensors 2017, 17, 1239.

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