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Use of Optical Means of Support of Radar-Tracking Systems of Supervision of Meteors with a View of Studying Space Dust


V.A. Leonov, A.O. Zhukov, A.N. Kharchenko

Radar survey of Near-Earth Space is very effective for observations of the objects at low orbits. To depress noise signals the space radar systems always use selection by distance, otherwise there are thousands of impulses per hour from meteors at some tens kilometers above ground. Special meteor radars receive only reflections from meteors, so they need powerful computers to process observation data in real time. This is why no meteor radar observes space probes as well as no space survey radar provides meteor registrations. There are very few meteor radars in the world, and there in no one is Russia. As space debris particles are mostly tiny enough to be undetectable by space surveys, the space debris population has been modeled theoretically. These theoretical distributions can be verified by edges of the wing for meter-size bodies that are under space surveys' control though numerous low-mass particles being dangerous for space activity remain uncertain. To obtain observational data for the opposite wing, i.e., for millimeter and sub-millimeter sizes, it is proposed a special mode for radar observations of near-Earth space combined with simultaneous meteor observations in optic. Any space debris particle that lost its height must produce shooting star. It will differ from natural meteors by velocity, that cannot exceed 11 km/sec, when ordinary meteor has to have velocity that is much more. Modern TV cameras allow detection of any meteor that has hazardous mass and dimensions, but they cannot measure the distance to meteor that radars do. So if optical cameras would detect any meteor that is suspected to be produced by debris particle, and radar would measure its distance, it would be enough to decide whether it was debris particle or not. So provided observations can get objective data for verification of low-mass wing of the theoretical space debris model.
June 24, 2020
May 29, 2020

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