"THE GROWING PERIL OF SPACE DEBRIS" IS RECEIVING PUBLIC ATTENTION.

Period of Performance: 01/01/1983 - 12/31/1983

$50K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Chronometrics Inc.
9155 Brookville Rd.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Principal Investigator

Abstract

"THE GROWING PERIL OF SPACE DEBRIS" IS RECEIVING PUBLIC ATTENTION. IT IS BECOMING A HAZARD TO THE MILITARY AND CIVILIAN USE OF SPACE, REQUIRING INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION. YET, IT IS STILL A LITTLE UNDERSTOOD PHENOMENON, DUE IN LARGE PART TO A LACK OF ADEQUATE MONITORING INSTRUMENTATION.THIS PROGRAM IS TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF THE FOLLOWING CRITICAL APPROACHES TO A LOW-COST SPACECRAFT-MOUNTABLE, PASSIVE OPTICAL SPACE DEBRIS MONITOR: (1) SIGNIFICANT SENSITIVITY IMPROVEMENT OVER PREVIOUSLY PROPOSED METHODS THROUGH THE USE OF IMAGING AND IMAGE-PROCESSING METHODS; (2) ELECTRONIC DESIGN, TO LEVEL OF BLOCK DIAGRAMS, OF AN ORBITAL DEBRIS MONITOR; (3) TEST METHODOLOGY FOR THE MONITORBEFORE FLIGHT ON SPACECRAFT. THE GOAL OF PHASE II IS TO DESIGN, CONSTRUCT, AND TEST A BENCH MODEL OF A SPACE DEBRIS MONITOR. THE GOAL IN PHASE III IS A SPACE DEBRIS MONITOR WHICH FILLS THE GAP OF INFORMATION ABOUT OBJECTS AT SIZES FROM 0.1 CM TO 10 CM ORBITING IN THE 500-1500 KM ALTITUDE RANGE.