Characterization of objects in near-Earth space using the Metsähovi satellite laser ranging system (MATINE SLR)
This project studies the capabilities of active satellite laser ranging (SLR) and passive optical (photometric) observations for the characterization of objects orbiting near the Earth, as well as the possible synergies obtained by combining these two methods. Based on the results of a Matine project completed in 2015, the new project will utilize the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute's satellite laser ranging system in Metsähovi in observations of so-called "non-cooperative targets". The first year of the project requires applying the methods of SLR and photometric data processing, leading to the capability to estimate the rotational state of a "cooperative" target, i.e. one which has reflecting prisms for SLR observations. In the second year these methods are extended to non-cooperative targets (without SLR prisms), and to using the two observational methods with simultaneous observations.