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Warwick CSDA - About Us

Research

The CSDA brings together researchers from multiple groups across the University of Warwick to tackle some of the many complex, cross-disciplinary problems associated with space domain awareness. The boxes below summarise the research interests of each group.

Astronomy and Astrophysics

Members of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group have been conducting SDA research since 2017. Effective SDA strongly relies on the acquisition of real-time, precise data for objects orbiting the Earth, using a range of sensors that sample different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. With a strong pedigree in astronomical instrumentation and wide field surveying, much of our SDA research has been driven by existing Warwick infrastructure on the Canary Island of La Palma. Current research covers:

  • the optimisation of observational strategies when conducting blind/targeted surveys of low and high altitude objects, and the development of robust algorithms to detect, track and characterise imaged objects;
  • the extraction of high cadence light curves from optical CCD data, and the development of machine learning algorithms to characterise objects in orbit based on their photometric signatures;
  • the application of sCMOS technology to rapidly acquire image data, and overcoming associated strains placed on storage and frame rate capacities.

Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics (CFSA)

Research in the CFSA includes a comprehensive programme in solar system plasma physics. The highly variable near-Earth plasma environment is a key factor in satellite specification, operation and endurance. We study the fundamental plasma physics of the solar corona, the solar wind, and the near-Earth plasma environment. This supports our space weather research which covers:

  • space weather modelling and prediction by large-scale numerical simulation;
  • data driven discovery, bringing new insights to the extensive and inhomogeneous datasets from solar and magnetospheric observations;
  • statistical approaches to quantifying space weather risk.

Statistics

Statistics is a fundamental aspect of SDA because of the importance of quantifying the uncertainty about the state of resident space objects (RSOs), e.g. with the objective of estimating the likelihood of conjunction events. The underlying tracking and data association problem is the topic of a very active field of research due to the specific challenges of SDA such as the relative sparsity of sensor's coverage when compared to the extent of the near-Earth space. Our current research focuses on:
  • Leveraging a dedicated representation of uncertainty for modelling a lack of knowledge, e.g. for initial orbit determination
  • Designing efficient and scalable data association techniques
  • Introducing decentralised sensor fusion algorithms with high information retention

Publications

Below is a list of selected proceedings and publications involving members of the CSDA.

Author(s) Title Date Journal/Proceedings Open Access
Blake et al. DebrisWatch I: A survey of faint geosynchronous debris 01/21 Advances in Space Research ResearchGate, arXiv
Blake et al. Supplementing a survey of geosynchronous debris with commercial-off-the-shelf equipment 09/20 AMOS ResearchGate
Chote, Blake & Pollacco Precision optical light curves of LEO and GEO objects 09/19 AMOS ResearchGate
Blake et al. Optical imaging of faint geosynchronous debris with the Isaac Newton Telescope 09/19 AMOS ResearchGate
Delande et al. (Houssineau) A new multi-target tracking algorithm for a large number of orbiting objects 08/19 Advances in Space Research Warwick
Delande, Houssineau & Jah Physics and Human-Based Information Fusion for Improved Resident Space Object Tracking 10/18 Advances in Space Research arXiv
Delande et al. (Houssineau) Novel Multi-Object Filtering Approach for Space Situational Awareness 01/18 Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics Aerospace Research Central

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