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- Photometric measurements were collected for a new study aimed at estimating orbital debris sizes based on object brightness. To obtain a size from optical measurements the current practice is to assume an albedo and use a normalized magnitude to calculate optical size. However, assuming a single albedo value may not be valid for all objects or orbit types; material type and orientation can mask an object s true optical cross section. This experiment used a CCD camera to record data, a 300 W Xenon, Ozone Free collimated light source to simulate solar illumination, and a robotic arm with five degrees of freedom to move the piece of simulated debris through various orientations. The pseudo-debris pieces used in this experiment originate from the European Space Operations Centre s ESOC2 ground test explosion of a mock satellite. A uniformly illuminated white ping-pong ball was used as a zero-magnitude reference. Each debris piece was then moved through specific orientations and rotations to generate a light curve. This paper discusses the results of five different object-based light curves as measured through an x-rotation. Intensity measurements, from which each light curve was generated, were recorded in five degree increments from zero to 180 degrees. Comparing light curves of different shaped and sized pieces against their characteristic length establishes the start of a database from which an optical size estimation model will be derived in the future.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20060024592.
AMOS 2006 Conference; 10-14 Sep. 2006; Wailea, HI; United States.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
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