COTS Satellite Metrics

The Earth orbit is getting crowded. The need for increased and efficient space surveillance has become critical. The Ceravolo 300 astrograph offers a low cost COTS (commercial off the shelf) option for metrics imaging.

The Ceravolo 300 astrograph, at f/4.9, was used to record the streaks of four orbiting Geo Satellites.

Below is a full frame image and enlargement of a 3 second sidereal tracked image of the Orion nebula taken with a SBIG STL11000 ccd camera.


Below are performance estimates for a solo Ceravolo 300 astrograph and an array of four astrographs used simultaneously to image the same target, simulating a larger instrument.


Sidereal tracking
LEO 240 arc sec/sec object movement
GEO 15 arc sec/sec object movement
High QE (+80%) CCD array
Optical system transmission efficiency of 95%
5.5 arc second/pixel sky sampling for 500mm f/1
1.9 arc second/pixel sky sampling for 300mm f/4.9
1.5 pixel measurement radius
Dark rural sky (sky glow of magnitude 20/square arc second)
Image signal-to-noise ratio of 5.
Superimposing four images reduces the s/n by a factor of two,
the equivalent of doubling the instrument’s aperture.