As planned, in 2020, the GNOSIS consortium will organise two technical workshops.
SSA Technologies – Venue, Warwick University – Date, May 2020
This workshop will cover the full range of potential technologies that can be used to derive information on space systems, including:
Optical (passive and active)
And all of the above, but from orbit
Catalogue Definition – Venue, Edinburgh – Date, October 2020
This workshop will seek to define the structure for a comprehensive future database that will be able to accommodate a far broader range of information on space objects, including information from the sorts of novel sensors discussed at the May workshop. In additional to traditional data fields including the object identifier and its orbit parameters, these additional data fields are likely to include:
Physical properties (size, shape, etc.)
Stability (rotation, tumble rates)
Traditional signatures (e.g. RCS, Albedo, etc.)
Novel signatures (e.g. Spectral, RF, etc.)
Data from on-board sensors
Precision tracking aids, (e.g. ballistic coefficient vs time, as fuel is expended)
A first sandpit discussion, on the topic of space weather took place online on the 2. April 2020. It contained a detailed proposal programme of work suggested by Deimos/University of Strathclyde; operational procedures for space weather monitoring and response, as suggested by Airbus; and an update on the SWIMMR radiation monitoring package from MOSWOC/STFC.
We expect to lead to at least three additional sandbox sessions later in 2020 covering individual novel sensor concepts in greater detail, addressing questions such as:
What should we build?
How should we process and store the data?
What products result?
Who wants these products?
An aim of these sandbox sessions will be to ensure that both the developers of novel sensors and the developers of novel catalogue functionality have a common understanding of the goals and timeframes associated with the proposed new capabilities.
Longer Term Workshop Proposals
In 2021, the GNOSIS network is considering workshops in the following areas:
Products and Algorithms
A variety of novel product types are likely to arise from developments in space traffic management and control over the next few years including, but not limited to:
Satellite status reports
Reports on compliance with regulations
Space sustainability rating
Collision On Launch Assessments (COLA)
Debris removal assessments
The aim of this workshop would be to discuss the potential technical content of such reports, but also the timescales, measurement accuracies, and legal liabilities associated with their production.
Precision SSA and Enabled Capabilities
A range of novel space-based services and capabilities potentially result from having highly precise knowledge of the positions of active satellites and debris in orbit. The workshop will consider:
Positional accuracy of observations
Frequency of observations
Assessments of satellite/debris shape and composition
Super-trackable satellites to fully characterise the forces acting
It is anticipated that this workshop could highlight the pathways to a number of future commercial SSA/SST ventures.
The case for L4
A comprehensive solar monitoring capability requires satellites stationed at the L1, L4, and L5 Lagrange Points. At present there is a focus on L1 and L5, but there is a compelling case for consideration of L4 too, based on the locations on the solar disk where eruptions that affect the Earth actually originate. This workshop will address the global appetite for an international mission to monitor the Sun from this orbital location.
The case for IR
Not all objects in Earth orbit are radar reflective, and some have low albedos. As a result, catalogues based on existing sensing systems are likely to be incomplete in all orbital regimes. All objects in Earth orbit, however, are expected to have a thermal signature, and this workshop will assess the potential for improved sustainability of space operations based on the inclusion of infra-red sensor data collected in orbit.
2020 – Yearly GNOSIS Conference
In September 2020, either at the Royal Astronomical Society (Burlington House, London) or Warwick. This is part reflective looking back at the previous year’s events as well as looking forward to the new programme. This could be held jointly with the ACI.
2020 – Yearly Education Workshop
To be held at Warwick, probably in July. The subject matter of this initial education workshop would be to review all the technologies that are used for SSA in order to establish a broad understanding of the state of the art, and where the principal information gaps lie. It is also anticipated that having multiple practitioners together would help to identify potential opportunities for contemporaneous collection of data, and subsequent techniques for data fusion from multiple sensors. This event could also be held jointly with the ACI.