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A new algorithm for optical observations of space debris with the TAROT telescopes

Abstract : Since 2004, we observe satellites in the geostationary orbit with a network of robotic ground based fully automated telescopes called TAROT. One of them is located in France and the second at ESO, La Silla, Chile. The system processes the data in real time. Its wide field of view is useful for the discovery, the systematic survey and for the tracking of both catalogued and un-catalogued objects. We present a new source extraction algorithm based on morphological mathematic, which has been tested and is currently under implementation in the standard pipeline. Using this method, the observation strategy will correlate the measurements of the same object on successive images and give better detection rate and false alarm rate than the previous one. The overall efficiency and quality of the survey of the geostationary orbit has drastically improved and we can now detect satellites and debris in different orbits like Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). Results obtained in real conditions with TAROT are presented.
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Myrtille Laas-Bourez, Gwendoline Blanchet, Michel Boër, Etienne Ducrotté, Alain Klotz. A new algorithm for optical observations of space debris with the TAROT telescopes. Advances in Space Research, 2009, 44, pp.1270-1278. ⟨10.1016/j.asr.2009.06.013⟩. ⟨insu-03633433⟩



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