P10.23 Eleanor Sansom (Space Science and Technology Centre)
Theme: Data processing pipelines
From OSIRIS-REx to FireOPAL - calculating orbits using a distributed ground based camera network
Near Earth objects are typically observed from a single, high resolution viewpoint and their orbits are calculated using angular measurements. Optical tracking systems for such surveys usually require a trade off between field of view and astrometric precision. The Desert Fireball Network in Australia has a heritage of triangulating meteoroid trajectories through our atmosphere using a network of low-resolution, all-sky optical systems. From these data, entry orbits can be reliably recreated. Is such a distributed ground-based network approach capable of imaging and triangulating objects beyond our atmosphere? To assess such a capability, a temporary 13-station network across Australasia was established to observe the flyby maneuver of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx on the 22nd September 2017. An image processing pipeline was established to reduce the data and recreate the slingshot maneuvre to within 31 km of the satellite telemetry for the duration of the fly-by event. With this successful trial campaign, a permanent array of cameras has been established to detect and track satellites in both LEO and GEO and provide a database of satellite orbits. The initial pipeline has now been automated and FireOPAL can reliably observe 90% of known objects within its field of view. Follow up observations can be made with real time hand off between FireOPAL clusters and narrow field of view telescopes.