Passive radar system for the detection of low-Earth orbit objects

The proposed technological solution is focused on the use of a passive radar based on an array antenna that uses signals transmitted from satellite platforms (e.g.: DVB-S/DVB-S2) as illuminators of opportunity. This approach represents an opportunity of particular interest for the detection of space debris, thanks to the very wide coverage that transmitters in geostationary orbit can guarantee.

The passive radar architecture allows for continuous surveillance (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), without the use of any own transmitters, thereby minimizing costs and energy consumption. In order to improve the radar detection performance, we propose the adoption of an array antenna formed by a high number of receive-only elements, therefore limiting the realization costs. Moreover, a single receiving element will be equipped with a flexible reception system capable of digitizing high bandwidth signals. The ability to acquire broadband signals will allow the system to exploit a large part of the energy radiated by the satellite in order to improve the level of SNR.

The use of an array of antennas and digital beamforming techniques can enable the achievement of a sufficient gain and the possibility to scan electronically the volume under surveillance.

Italian MoD
February 2020 - November 2020




Capria, A. Saverino, A. L. Martorella, M.

Wideband DVB-S/DVB-S2 Passive Bistatic Radar for Resident Space Object detection Conference

vol. 2022-September, 2022, (SPIA).

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