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Activity title

RF and RF/EO Technology for Space Situational Awareness

Activity Reference



Sensors & Electronics Technology

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Activity type


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EO, Radar, RSO, Sensors, SSA, SST


Space Situational Awareness is fundamental to picture all activities in space that may help or endanger NATO missions. Effort has been made within CSO in the direction of coordinating actions from NATO members to create a common picture. Specifically, SCI-279 and SCI-311 have been working in that direction and have started producing interesting results. While SCI activities work at a system level and aim at improving system concepts and bridging state of the art limitations and user needs, more work should be done to liaise NATO members to work at a sensor level. Many technologies, especially RF ones are dated and algorithm development is often constrained by the hardware that is employed in Space Situation Awareness (SSA) / Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) operations. New sensor and sensor networks may be envisioned that would drastically improve NATO SST and therefore SSA capabilities. Moreover, novel algorithms that exploit new sensor concepts may be developed that would in turn push SST performances. Last but not least, data fusion from RF and optical system may be the key to significantly enhance performances and guarantee high quality RSO cataloguing.


The goal of this ET is to investigate whether there is enough interest in SST/SSA at a sensor level and eventually to write a TAP for an RTG activity. The specific objectives are • Identify main interests of Nations relatively to SSA/SST (Space Situational Awareness/Space Surveillance and Tracking) related activities and more specifically at a sensor level • define eventual gaps to be filled in terms of sensors/algorithms capabilities that are in the interest of Nations • Identify potential solutions and road maps to explore feasibility • Identify specific objectives to be achieved in a 3-years span through a RTG • Form a solid group of experts from the interest Nations to undertake a 3-years RTG activity • Write a TAP for a RTG to be submitted to the SET Panel


A list of topics follows: • Novel/improved algorithms for detection and tracking of RSO • New concepts for SST sensors (EO, Radar/RF) - Passive RF - Space-based sensors - others • Sensor networks - Radar/RF - Optica - Mixed • Optical/RF data fusion • others

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