Fraunhofer Group for Defense and Security
Radar for Security in Space
The rapidly expanding military and civilian use of the near Earth space has led to a considerable dependence on space based systems - for example in the fields of satellite navigation, remote sensing and communication.
In case of a breakdown of such systems far reaching consequences for the industrial society would be the result. Satellite systems are endangered especially by the collision risk with space objects - other satellites or space debris. Radar systems play an outstanding role for space observation: A continuous surveillance of low Earth orbits can be reliably guaranteed only by high performance ground based phased array systems. For high precision orbit determination and for ultra high resolution imaging of space objects wide band target tracking radars are necessary.
At Fraunhofer FHR an expert group has been investigating space observation techniques with radars for many years. As a measurement instrument the high performance radar system TIRA (Tracking and Imaging Radar) yields world-wide unique data for the exploration of detection, estimation and imaging techniques. On the other hand, FHR is building up a receiving system for a European Space Situational Awareness (SSA) surveillance radar for ESA. For the planned 'European Space Situational Awareness System' (ESSAS) as well as for the German national 'Weltraumlagesystem' (WRLageSys) FHR's competence in space observation is at the space authorities' disposal.