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OmniSky: wide angle multi-camera station network concept for re-entry detection

Stanisław K. Kozłowski1,Piotr Sybilski2,Arkadiusz Olech3,Arkadiusz Raj4,Przemysław Żołądek4,Michał Litwicki4,Rafał K. Pawłaszek2,Michał Drzał2,Sławomir Hus5,Mariusz Słonina2,Quirin Funke6,Tim Flohrer6
Cilium Engineering Sp. z o. o.1Sybilla Technologies Sp. z o. o.2Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Centre3Cilium Engineering Sp. z o. o. 4Sybilla Technologies Sp. z o. o. 5ESA6

Document details

Publishing year2019 PublisherESA Space Safety Programme Office Publishing typeConference Name of conference1st NEO and Debris Detection Conference
Pagesn/a Volume
T. Flohrer, R. Jehn, F. Schmitz


Approximately 400 man-made objects of size larger than 10 cm re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere every year – the majority of these are never observed. Typically, the only way we know that they are no longer in orbit is because they are not observed anymore in an expected location at a given time. OmniSky is a concept network of multi-camera sensors that are designed to detect re-entries of objects larger than 1 cm over an area covered by a grid of observing stations. Based on extensive simulations, including a realistic in-orbit population model and historical weather data, we have estimated that a 16-station network covering roughly the area of Poland will detect 4.6 re-entry events per year. Various hardware and on-board software approaches have been considered during the design and feasibility study phase. The resulting network will be integrated into one system by the means of tailored cloud services. The need of detecting and characterizing re-entry events is justified by the requirements of space commercialisation, satellite mega-constellations, space law evolution and the emerging market of space insurances. Additionally, a single OmniSky station is a versatile tool that can be used for other complementary activities, also during the day: weather monitoring (including cloud detection for solar farms), environmental monitoring (e.g. forest fires, bird migration), drone observing, amateur astronomy, night-time cloud detection for astronomical observatories.