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Center for Space Debris Data Collection, Processing and Analysis
Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics (KIAM)
Russian Academy of Sciences

4 Miusskaya Sq., Moscow, 125047 Russia

High Geocentric Orbit Space Debris Circular No.3
20070401 H.G.O.S.D.C. 00003

Efraim L. Akim KIAM Deputy Director
Vladimir M. Agapov, Igor Ye. Molotov

Coverage period ends on Mar 31, 2007

Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics


Introduction

This circular opens a new series of publications devoted to periodically summarizing the worldwide scientific activities in observations of space debris objects on high geocentric orbits (GEO, HEO and high near-circular non-GEO). Objects considered to be included into this publication are fragments (operational by nature, created in fragmentation events or as a result of larger objects surface and construction deterioration due to environment conditions) having brightness fainter than 15th visual magnitude during most part of their observation time. This limit corresponds to approximately 1 m size object on geostationary orbit. It is possible that sometimes these objects can be brighter than 15th magnitude due to combination of their specific properties (surface reflectivity and attitude) and favorable observation conditions (good phase angle, high elevation etc.).

The goal of this publication is to give the world scientific community imagination about the status of high geocentric orbit space debris researches and to provide up to date data for each discovered object including orbital parameters, estimated standard magnitude and estimated area-to-mass ratio value. Those data can be included in existing space debris models as well as can be used for study of long-term orbital evolution and possible origin of the objects. The Circular will also serve as some reference document for scientists and amateurs involved in those objects observations and data analysis. Operators of spacecraft in high geocentric orbits (mainly in GEO) can use this publication in order to obtain a more realistic description of the situation around their orbital assets.

Observation planning, ephemeris support, processing and analysis of obtained data are made by researchers from Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics (KIAM) (Vladimir Agapov, Igor Molotov, Viktor Stepanyants, Vladimir Titenko) with invaluable help of Zakhariy Khutorovskiy (Vympel Corporation) and Vasiliy Yurasov (Institute for Precision Instrument Engineering, IPIE).

The presented results include discoveries stemming from surveys of the European Space Agency (ESA) utilizing the ESA Space Debris Telescope in Tenerife. Those surveys and all follow-up observations from the ZIMLAT telescope of the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern in Switzerland (AIUB) are planned, run, processed, and analyzed by the AIUB.

All questions regarding cooperation in the joint research program for high geocentric orbit space debris studies should be sent to Prof. E. L. Akim, KIAM Deputy Director. All questions regarding observation schedule, required formats, ephemeris support, observations and orbital data processing, analysis and usage should be sent to Dr. V. M. Agapov. All questions regarding requirements for observation instruments, CCD frame processing software, possible help in the instrumentation upgrade in order to make possible participation in the research program should be sent to Dr. I. Ye. Molotov.

List of sensors

This list includes all sensors participating today in a joint program of observation and analysis of space debris objects on high geocentric orbits. Each sensor has its own identification number assigned in the KIAM space objects database. Most of the sensors are involved in minor planet observations as well, thus having the MPC-assigned identification code. But for the purpose of this research program it was decided to maintain a separate ID system permitting to describe all participating sensors regardless of their involvement in other research programs. Coordinates of sensors are given for reference purposes only and should not be used in real observation processing. In the column Instrument, the common name, aperture (d, mm) and focal length (f, mm) of each instrument are given.

The list will be updated each time a new sensor will send observations for objects studied.

Table 1. List of participating sensors

Ref. ID Longitude, Latitude, Height, km Observatory/Facility Instrument
10003 100.919 E 51.622 N 1.998 Mondy AZT-14 d480
10009 66.883 E 39.133 N 0.662 Kitab DAZ-40 d400
10010 41.432 E 43.657 N 2.070 Arhyz Zeiss-600 d600/f7500
10012 42.499 E 43.276 N 3.127 Terskol Zeiss-2000 d2000/f16000
10016 30.273 E 46.397 N 0.010 Mayaki RC-600 d600/f4800
10018 33.163 E 45.219 N 0.010 Yevpatoriya AZT-8 d700/f2800
10019 33.997 E 44.403 N 0.340 CrAO/Simeiz Zeiss-1000 d1000
10024 30.327 E 59.772 N 0.100 Pulkovo RS-220 d220/f507
10031 34.016 E 44.726 N 0.585 CrAO/Nauchnyi AT-64 d640/f900
10041 66.896 E 38.673 N 2.593 Maidanak Zeiss-600 d600/f7500
10042 41.443 E 43.649 N 2.059 SAO/Arhyz Zeiss-1000 d1000
10065 132.166 E 43.699 N 0.200 Ussuriysk DA-40 d400/f1600
10071 64.624 W 21.596 S 1.865 Tarija Zeiss-600 d600/f7500
10102 100.920 E 51.622 N 2.000 Mondy Zeiss-600 d600/f7500
10103 100.919 E 51.617 N 2.025 Mondy AZT-33IK d1500/f30000
10191 7.465 E 46.877 N 0.951 Zimmerwald ZIMLAT-1000 d1000/f4000
10198 16.512 W 28.301 N 2.445 Teide/OGS Zeiss-1000 d1000/f4470
10531 34.016 E 44.728 N 0.595 CrAO/Nauchnyi ZTSh d2600/f10000
10532 34.017 E 44.730 N 0.595 GAISh/Nauchnyi Zeiss-600 d600/f4680
10533 34.016 E 44.726 N 0.585 CrAO/Nauchnyi PH-1 d220/f507

Note. The focal lengths value for ZIMLAT (Zimmerwald) and OGS (Teide) telescopes had been modified in this table in order to present "effective focal lengths" including the focal reducer optics as for the other telescopes. The original values published for these telescopes in the previous issues of the Circular were the focal lengths of the main telescope optics.

New objects

This section contains information on the objects newly discovered during the period Mar 1 Mar 31, 2007.

There are two lists. The first one contains information on objects which have been successfully recovered in follow-up observations after initial detection and one-night tracking and for which orbital data and area-to-mass ratio (AMR) value have been determined with high level of confidence. The second one contains information on objects having only one-night track of observations. A complete set of orbital data cannot be determined for these objects. Only some orbital parameters (mainly inclination and RAAN) are determined relatively accurately. The AMR values cannot be determined for these objects at all.

It should be noted that all one-night tracks have been tested to identify them with all other one-night tracks and with all known objects in the KIAM database having well determined orbits (both bright and faint). It is possible that the identification failed not only due to the absence of other tracks of the same object, but also due to uncertainty caused by an unknown AMR value which can result in very significant orbital evolution that prevents proper correlation of one-night tracks.

Each object listed in this section has two identifiers. The first one (column ID2 in the table below) is assigned by the observer who discovered the object and the second one (ID1) is assigned in the KIAM space objects database. Since no commonly agreed space debris identification system exists yet all identifiers provided can be regarded as temporary ones. As soon as such a system will be agreed upon, all objects will be assigned with the new identifiers.

Orbital elements are referring to True Equator Mean Equinox (TEME) coordinate system. Area-to-mass ratios are calculated assuming reflectivity coefficient equal to 1.3. Orbital elements for short tracks (Table 3) are obtained in two steps. In the first step an attempt is made to determine an orbit with zero eccentricity. In case of large residuals (more than the expected 3- sigma) the second step is applied. At this step the eccentricity is also estimated.

Table 2. List of newly discovered and confirmed objects

ID1 ID2 Date/time, UTC a, km e i, Ω, ω, u, AMR, m2/kg
43128 E07074D 17.03.2007 00:32:50.15 25998.12 0.6166549 7.264 348.806 14.882 170.760 0.41
90035 90035 31.03.2007 21:26:32.76 41840.59 0.0846527 9.169 329.177 29.708 212.120 2.84

Table 3. List of newly discovered objects having only single one-night track of observations

ID1 ID2 Date/time, UTC Track
duration,
hh:mm
T, min a, km e i, Ω, ω,
46166 g070309 09.03.2007 00:19 1446.09 42360.1 0.0190 13.297 005.08 056.28
46303 z070312 12.03.2007 00:03 1333.34 40128.7 0 06.908 081.06 160.98
46304 z070315 16.03.2007 00:18 1498.39 43375.4 0.3977 06.559 261.05 093.47
46203 M070316 16.03.2007 02:13 1418.52 41819.9 0.0119 10.341 333.37 250.97
46204 M070319 19.03.2007 00:06 1462.82 42686.2 0 08.815 317.14 295.31

New identifications

This section contains information on successful identification of newly and previously obtained single one-night tracks with each other as well as with objects having well determined orbits.

Table 4. New identifications

ID_new ID_old Observation date Observer
No new identifications in Mar 2007

Updated orbits

This section contains information on the latest orbital updates for objects discovered prior to Mar 1, 2007 and observed at least once in Mar 2007 or for which the latest orbital update was not published in the previous issues. 51 of previously discovered objects in total are observed in Mar 2007.

Table 5. Updated orbital parameters for objects observed in Mar 2007.

ID1 ID2 Date/time, UTC a, km e i, Ω, ω, u, AMR, m2/kg
43007 EGEO07 16.03.2007 01:30:19.44 43518.68 0.0812416 16.278 1.677 346.094 139.833 1.38
43019 EGEO19 28.03.2007 22:32:59.92 42399.20 0.0067778 10.825 338.212 303.345 199.269 1.39
43031 EGEO31 20.03.2007 22:24:57.50 40191.73 0.1162488 11.991 337.393 337.101 213.119 1.22
43032 EGEO32 17.03.2007 16:45:40.37 39458.99 0.0936657 10.748 339.022 326.727 185.747 1.19
43033 EGEO33 29.03.2007 03:50:17.65 33194.70 0.3342822 8.247 70.053 257.979 129.123 3.39
43045 EGEO45 28.03.2007 21:49:49.80 42151.52 0.1302500 9.551 330.297 66.089 206.777 0.99
43046 EGEO46 21.03.2007 13:15:32.43 42325.88 0.0369521 9.865 331.306 251.953 196.985 0.95
43081 E06204D 28.03.2007 21:53:03.80 46766.58 0.3945815 9.597 129.072 310.490 65.647 8.46
43082 E06205C 17.03.2007 17:45:31.79 41417.79 0.0151279 13.824 344.710 247.034 216.329 1.75
43084 E06207B 16.03.2007 01:43:51.27 38328.07 0.1773065 10.091 335.430 358.116 171.398 21.5
43091 E06293A 11.03.2007 18:15:12.51 40262.58 0.2793148 5.308 125.982 212.402 27.542 11.3
43093 E06326A 29.03.2007 00:16:21.60 43588.01 0.0537862 9.115 333.184 345.860 190.906 3.57
43096 E06321D 20.03.2007 18:11:45.68 41425.42 0.0246903 8.815 321.077 290.373 207.324 1.74
43098 E06327F 09.03.2007 00:30:48.31 43309.35 0.0473359 9.617 333.784 290.976 156.320 2.05
43100 E06327E 13.03.2007 19:59:13.56 39991.21 0.0601624 12.498 344.474 254.530 179.150 0.40
43103 E06349B 16.03.2007 01:34:08.16 41891.32 0.0049002 13.902 6.095 102.322 129.106 0.021
43105 E07014A 14.03.2007 23:47:08.17 42142.76 0.2619789 16.766 329.218 353.018 227.800 12.3
43108 E07017B 16.03.2007 00:08:19.36 41738.17 0.0564714 8.437 315.806 342.872 208.611 1.00
43112 E07021A 13.03.2007 21:31:41.87 42227.90 0.0542447 10.729 337.420 290.024 105.432 1.45
43114 E07021D 13.03.2007 20:18:21.13 24758.06 0.7178567 4.996 68.032 288.385 69.246 -
43116 E07042A 13.03.2007 20:37:44.45 41913.07 0.3693122 9.341 336.941 348.290 160.524 15.4
43117 E07042C 16.03.2007 20:37:57.48 41953.21 0.1304705 7.237 72.273 300.912 114.510 5.47
43118 E07043C 20.03.2007 22:27:48.02 39190.52 0.1882725 8.567 307.184 56.375 228.274 3.44
43119 E07045A 26.03.2007 18:24:20.28 21209.11 0.6624791 3.998 69.744 291.132 101.341 -
43120 E07045B 31.03.2007 23:53:22.40 42961.55 0.0321090 15.790 2.736 26.882 132.543 0.39
43121 E07045D 28.03.2007 21:47:39.62 42037.28 0.0195672 13.208 5.868 330.240 194.879 1.21
43124 E07047A 26.03.2007 19:44:46.55 39983.21 0.1781222 12.867 341.090 343.586 183.528 3.19
43125 E07048A 29.03.2007 02:39:36.40 44505.96 0.0722253 18.649 31.426 336.031 167.775 0.094
90005 90005 28.03.2007 21:46:17.00 42014.29 0.0538045 14.454 356.887 98.201 130.662 0.74
90006 90006 20.03.2007 21:06:58.54 42196.56 0.0011569 14.433 352.112 17.529 233.438 0.0077
90008 90008 20.03.2007 17:51:51.36 42151.26 0.0041040 14.342 357.938 105.103 171.701 0.0012
90009 90009 29.03.2007 21:57:46.30 42279.38 0.0029508 14.673 358.963 355.644 211.890 0.036
90014 90014 28.03.2007 19:38:55.37 42617.07 0.0095344 14.963 353.560 107.252 175.015 0.15
90019 90019 27.03.2007 22:43:30.22 42223.00 0.0071952 14.812 359.382 32.782 174.270 0.13
90021 90021 31.03.2007 23:05:18.41 42697.72 0.0224477 14.914 359.547 2.604 137.192 0.38
90022 90022 15.03.2007 18:34:22.19 42160.83 0.0034706 14.551 358.663 219.197 191.190 0.16
90023 90023 22.03.2007 00:04:09.31 40111.05 0.0428402 12.349 355.181 45.654 199.493 1.69
90025 90025 20.03.2007 21:31:01.96 41178.50 0.0331134 10.604 333.378 8.745 157.950 0.14
90028 90028 04.03.2007 01:00:26.01 42494.85 0.0129927 14.601 358.940 62.078 129.429 0.0058
90030 90030 20.03.2007 19:57:05.11 42255.84 0.0040719 5.785 73.691 38.711 166.434 0.11
90031 90031 28.03.2007 19:26:55.82 42152.20 0.0020707 13.825 7.377 207.037 167.524 0.0032
90032 90032 29.03.2007 21:29:14.56 42151.49 0.0188638 14.276 358.764 236.742 208.012 0.0059
90041 90041 16.03.2007 13:41:28.63 41990.73 0.0039743 11.456 29.332 10.239 111.894 0.086
90042 90042 16.03.2007 00:12:05.06 38706.08 0.0142701 11.381 335.582 299.965 234.136 3.00
90043 90043 19.03.2007 16:17:43.38 41680.97 0.0055060 10.379 333.350 324.101 194.894 0.043
90047 90047 16.03.2007 00:47:10.82 43045.40 0.0970192 13.794 9.366 344.065 120.180 0.91
90049 90049 27.03.2007 01:09:06.84 38796.51 0.0421776 17.707 348.632 202.913 224.439 1.46
90050 90050 31.03.2007 22:50:35.02 42228.35 0.0596361 11.170 343.491 19.237 140.947 4.33
90051 90051 18.03.2007 23:24:31.18 42722.45 0.0235774 14.694 9.907 274.676 137.884 0.17
90052 90052 15.03.2007 17:28:25.26 41052.84 0.0078457 9.455 324.605 181.770 127.131 0.008
90053 90053 20.03.2007 20:45:47.62 41162.09 0.1983611 7.578 317.290 134.187 309.746 1.69

Master list of objects

The master list of objects includes all high altitude orbit faint objects discovered up today, with a description of the circumstances of the discovery and the last update of orbital information. Due to the large volume of the master list it will be distributed separately in electronic form only.

Observation statistics

This section contains general statistics on obtained measurements. It should be noted that additional portions of measurements obtained in Jan-Feb had been processed in March so the overall number of measurements includes those ones.

Table 6. Distribution of measurements obtained by each facility by year of observation (as of Mar 31, 2007)

2004 2005 2006 2007 TOTAL
Nauchnyi 1240 6478 12925 4353 24996
Zimmerwald 0 597 3389 1564 5550
Teide 0 624 2284 1553 4461
Maidanak 0 150 2166 988 3304
Mayaki 0 0 981 352 1333
SAO 0 258 524 307 1089
Terskol 0 0 475 0 475
Mondy 0 229 65 627 921
Yevpatoriya 0 0 272 0 272
Simeiz 0 0 213 0 213
Arhyz 0 0 115 11 126
Tarija 0 0 21 0 21
TOTAL 1240 8336 23430 9755 42761

Table 7. Observation statistics for Mar 2007

Facility Number of nights Number of observed earlier discovered objects Number of discovered objects including later confirmed) Number of obtained single measurements Number of tracks
Arhyz - - - - -
Ketab - - - - -
Maidanak 4 3 - 37 5
Mayaki 5 5 1 (1) 352 11
Mondy 8 18 2 (0) 395 38
Nauchnyi 10 29 1 (0) 919 76
Pulkovo - - - - -
SAO 2 6 - 307 10
Simeiz - - - - -
Tarija - - - - -
Teide 3 9 1 (1) 80 11
Terskol - - - - -
Ussuriysk - - - - -
Yevpatoriya - - - - -
Zimmerwald 13 37 2 (0) 690 128
TOTAL 21 51 7 (2) 2780 279

Acknowledgements

We would like to express our appreciation to Rudiger Jehn (European Space Operations Center), Vladimir Kouprianov (Pulkovo Observatory), Vasiliy Rumyantsev (Crimean Astrophysical Observatory), Thomas Schildkneht (Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern) and Vasiliy Yurasov (Institute for Precision Instrument Engineering, IPIE) for their comments and suggestions aimed to the Circular improvement.

17 2007.


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