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Space based earth observation systems are commonly utilized to monitor the dynamic nature of the earth's temperature, bio-mass distribution, and atmosphere. We present an initial look at utilizing these same assets for monitoring of resident space object (RSO) ephemeris, optical cross section, and in some cases attitude. Our initial approach is a brute force geometric solution utilizing publicly available two-line element (TLE) sets to model both the observation platform sensor's instantaneous field of view and the target object's trajectory. We find the radiometric signature of RSO's observed with these platforms to be highly dependent on the observer's focal plane geometry and collection approach (pushbroom vs. whiskbroom), resulting in various levels of spectral misregistration artifacts that are visually exploited and confirmed by comparison to a simple spectral misregistration model. We also find that the commonly utilized anomaly detection algorithm Rx is excellent for finding the space objects in the pushbroom style collections. We find the collection style of the Advanced Land Imager (a testbed for the next generation LANDSAT platform) has an improved sensitivity to space objects relative to heritage LANDSAT whiskbroom style image collections.
Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:6 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: April 2013