Session

Technical Session II: Around The Corner

SSC10-II-3.pdf (930 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

The tracking of man-made objects in Earth orbit is a crucial function of the Canadian Space Surveillance System (CSSS). This system will contribute information to the United States Space Surveillance Network (SSN) which maintains a global catalog of orbit elements for Resident Space Objects (RSOs). RSOs include active and inactive satellites, spent rocket bodies, and other pieces of orbital debris created by decades of human activity in space. Sapphire is a small satellite system that will form the centerpiece of the CSSS, providing an operationally flexible space-based platform for the precise tracking and identification of RSOs covering orbit altitudes in the range from 6000 km to 40000 km. The Sapphire system, including a satellite, ground segment, launch, and operations, is currently being developed by MDA for the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND), with satellite launch scheduled for 2011. This paper describes the Sapphire design. Sapphire must meet demanding performance requirements for RSO detection and pointing determination accuracy as well as system responsiveness and imaging task throughput. Sapphire will provide continuous service over a mission life of at least five years. The paper discusses the approaches used to build a robust capability into a small satellite package, including the extensive use of flight-proven heritage in the satellite subsystems. In addition, the paper discusses the role of the satellite with respect to the ground system elements and summarizes some of the major system-level tradeoffs from the design process.

Share

COinS
 
Aug 9th, 5:15 PM

Sapphire: A Small Satellite System for the Surveillance of Space

The tracking of man-made objects in Earth orbit is a crucial function of the Canadian Space Surveillance System (CSSS). This system will contribute information to the United States Space Surveillance Network (SSN) which maintains a global catalog of orbit elements for Resident Space Objects (RSOs). RSOs include active and inactive satellites, spent rocket bodies, and other pieces of orbital debris created by decades of human activity in space. Sapphire is a small satellite system that will form the centerpiece of the CSSS, providing an operationally flexible space-based platform for the precise tracking and identification of RSOs covering orbit altitudes in the range from 6000 km to 40000 km. The Sapphire system, including a satellite, ground segment, launch, and operations, is currently being developed by MDA for the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND), with satellite launch scheduled for 2011. This paper describes the Sapphire design. Sapphire must meet demanding performance requirements for RSO detection and pointing determination accuracy as well as system responsiveness and imaging task throughput. Sapphire will provide continuous service over a mission life of at least five years. The paper discusses the approaches used to build a robust capability into a small satellite package, including the extensive use of flight-proven heritage in the satellite subsystems. In addition, the paper discusses the role of the satellite with respect to the ground system elements and summarizes some of the major system-level tradeoffs from the design process.