State identification of CubeSat-type satellites by optical observations (on the example of ARKYD 6A spacecraft)


Purpose. Determine the parameters of the own rotation of the artificial satellite ARKYD 6A, based on photometric and astrometric information obtained at the Sazhen-S quantum-optical station (COS) at the Center for the reception and processing of special information and control of the navigation field of the National Space Facilities Control and Test Center.
Methods. The authors used photometric and astrometric methods of research of the object, as well as other methods of modeling and their own methods for determining the orientation of the spacecraft.
Results. The results of photometric observations of the spacecraft ARKYD 6A carried out in May 2018. Despite the difficult observational conditions, three light curves of the spacecraft were obtained. Analysis of the curves showed that the spacecraft lost its stabilization and rotates. The approximate rotation parameters of the spacecraft are determined. The possibility of photometric observations of ultra-small spacecraft at low altitudes with small aperture telescopes is shown.
Conclusion. An analysis of observations obtained over three nights showed that the ARKYD 6A revolves around the «zenith-nadir» line with a period ∼ 145 seconds. At the same time, its longitudinal axis is discarded from this line at an angle of 32-35

Keywords: low orbit artificial space objects, CubeSat satellites, photometrical observations