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ATLAS: Deployment, Control Platform and First RSO Measurements

Pandeirada, J. Pandeirada ; Bergano , MB ; Marques, P. M. ; Barbosa , D. ; Coelho, B. ; Freitas, J. ; Nunes, DFSN

ATLAS: Deployment, Control Platform and First RSO Measurements, Proc International Astronautical Federation 73nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC), 18-23 Septembre2022 IAC2022, Paris, France, Vol. , pp. - , September, 2022.

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The ever increasing dependence of modern societies in space based services results in a rising number of objects in orbit which grows the probability of collisions between them. The increase in space debris is a threat to space
assets, space based-operations and led to a common effort to develop programs for dealing with it. As part of the Portuguese Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) project, led by the Portuguese Ministry of Defense (MoD),
Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT) is developing the rAdio TeLescope pAmpilhosa Serra (ATLAS), a new monostatic radar tracking sensor located at the Pampilhosa da Serra Space Observatory (PASO), Portugal. The
system operates at 5.56 GHz and aims to provide information on objects in low earth orbit (LEO), with cross sections above 10 cm2 at 1000 km. The sensor will be tasked by the Portuguese Network Operations Center (NOC), SST-PT,
which interfaces with the EU-SST network. ATLAS was deployed in the first half of 2022 and is currently being tested in real case scenarios by taking range and range-rate measurements of various resident space objects (RSO). In
the near future, the sensor will be completely integrated in the SST-PT network, improving the NOC services. This paper presents the deployment process of mounting the radar system in the antenna, and showcases a control
platform used by operators to interact with the system. The platform control system allows remote configuration, operations scheduling and can trigger the radar system through a user friendly graphical interface. Finally, we explain the calibration procedures as well as the observation strategies we are pursuing in order to perform the initial measurements and make an accuracy assessment for ATLAS.