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Comparison of EISCAT Radar Data on Space Debris with Model Prediction by the MASTER Model of ESA

By SpaceRef Editor
January 13, 2003
Filed under , ,

Astrophysics, abstract
astro-ph/0301200


From: Markus Landgraf <[email protected]>
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 10:47:09 GMT (26kb)

Comparison of EISCAT Radar Data on Space Debris with Model Prediction by
the MASTER Model of ESA


Authors:
M. Landgraf,
R. Jehn,
W. Flury

Comments: 6 pages, 6 figures, uses LaTeX2e and cospar.sty, to appear in
Advances in Space Research, available on
this http URL


In the effort to obtain low cost routine space debris observations in low
Earth orbit, ESA plans to utilise the radar facilities of the European
Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association. First demonstration measurements
were performed from 11 to 23 February 2001. In total $16:{
m hours}$ of radar
signals were collected. Here we compare these initial measurements with the
predictions of the ESA MASTER/PROOF’99 model in order to assess the sensitivity
as well as the reliability of the data. We find that while the determination of
object size needs to be reviewed, the altitude distribution provides a good fit
to the model prediction. The absolute number of objects detected in the various
altitude bins indicates that the coherent integration method indeed increases
the detection sensitivity when compared to incoherent integration. In the data
presented here integration times from 0.1 to $0.3:{
m s}$ were used. As
expected, orbit information cannot be obtained from the measurements if they
are linked to ionospheric measurements as planned. In addition routine space
debris observations provide also useful information for the validation of
large-object catalogues.

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