Purdue University Graduate School
Kelly_MSThesis.pdf (22.56 MB)

Optical Astrometry and Orbit Determination

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posted on 2020-05-08, 20:29 authored by Patrick Michael KellyPatrick Michael Kelly
The resident space object population in the near-Earth vicinity has steadily increased since the dawn of the space age. This population is expected to increase drastically in the near future as the realization of proposed mega-constellations is already underway. The resultant congestion in near-Earth space necessitates the availability of more complete and more accurate satellite tracking information to ensure the continued sustainable use of this environment. This work sets out to create an operational system for the delivery of accurate satellite tracking information by means of optical observation. The state estimates resulting from observation series conducted on a GPS satellite and a geostationary satellite are presented and compared to existing catalog information. The satellite state estimate produced by the system is shown to outperform existing two-line element results. Additionally, the statistical information provided by the processing pipeline is evaluated and found to be representative of the best information available for the satellites true state.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Professor Carolin Frueh

Additional Committee Member 2

Professor Kathleen Howell

Additional Committee Member 3

Professor James Garrison