The Speed of Movement of Artificial Space Objects and Its Determination Using Incoherent Scatter Radar
Keywords:Incoherent scatter radar, space objects, coherent reflection, signal phase characteristics, radial and horizontal speed
Methodological features of registration and separation of coherent radar reflections from space objects and elements of “space debris” operating in orbit are considered. Registration occurs against the background of signals that are scattering of the probe radio wave on particles of the ionospheric plasma. Methods of how to obtain information about the components of the velocity vector of these objects in near-earth space with the help of specialized ground-based radar facilities are analyzed. Their disadvantage is the unreliable control of weak reflections from the elements of “space debris” if they have a small (up to centimeters) scattering cross section. The authors proposed to use the existing high-energy radar installations. Using the signals after the analog-to-digital conversion generated in quadrature, it is proposed to calculate the phase characteristics of the coherent reflection. The radial velocity of the objects along the radar beam is calculated by isolating the Doppler phase difference and statistically averaging these values in the time of reflection. Similarly, by analyzing the time spent in the radar beam, the velocity component associated with the horizontal movement along the Earth’s surface is calculated. Real examples are given, when in one of the observation sessions on the reflection of a signal from a space object, the phase shift in each of its periods is calculated, and then, using the formula, proposed by the authors, the vertical component of the velocity of this object is calculated. Analyzing the observation time of this object in the beam of the transmitter antenna, an example of the calculation and the component of its horizontal velocity is shown. The block diagram of the radar used to calculate the specified parameters of the movement of space objects is presented. The developed approach is an effective solution of many practical problems in those industries that ensure the operation of spacecraft, ensuring the safety of space stations, optimal placement of objects in orbit, etc.
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