Back to Volume
Paper: Observations of space debris
Volume: 17, Light Pollution, Radio Interference, and Space Debris
Page: 153
Authors: Taff, L. G.
Abstract: Optical observations of near Earth and deep-space debris conducted at M.I.T.'s artificial satellite observatory will be discussed. A brief review of observing technique, regions of high debris density, and amount of debris in orbit will be given. The unique, duplex facilities of the observatory allow the discrimination of debris from meteors, the construction of an orbital element set, and real-time identification of catalogued artificial satellites. Near-Earth debris is present in large numbers in all the popular near-Earth orbits; at least 5-6 times the 5000-6000 objects in the NORAD catalog. In deep-space, the new presence of Ariane-related debris adds significantly to the existing population which is treble that catalogued by NORAD.
Back to Volume