An ephemeris refinement system includes satellites with imaging devices in earth orbit to make observations of space-based objects ("target objects") and a ground-based controller that controls the scheduling of the satellites to make the observations of the target objects and refines orbital models of the target objects. The ground-based controller determines when the target objects of interest will be near enough to a satellite for that satellite to collect an image of the target object based on an initial orbital model for the target objects. The ground-based controller directs the schedules to be uploaded to the satellites, and the satellites make observations as scheduled and download the observations to the ground-based controller. The ground-based controller then refines the initial orbital models of the target objects based on the locations of the target objects that are derived from the observations.
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.