A system for tracking objects that are in earth orbit via a constellation or network of satellites having imaging devices is provided. An object tracking system includes a ground controller and, for each satellite in the constellation, an onboard controller. The ground controller receives ephemeris information for a target object and directs that ephemeris information be transmitted to the satellites. Each onboard controller receives ephemeris information for a target object, collects images of the target object based on the expected location of the target object at an expected time, identifies actual locations of the target object from the collected images, and identifies a next expected location at a next expected time based on the identified actual locations of the target object. The onboard controller processes the collected image to identify the actual location of the target object and transmits the actual location information to the ground controller.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.