Chinese researchers have improved the accuracy of space junk around Earth orbit, allowing more effective mapping of spacecraft maneuvers. Researchers say that more than 50 years after human probes entered space, there are a lot of man-made debris in orbit, and various probes and spacecraft need to avoid debris in orbit for safety reasons.
So far, some space junk identification systems have been developed, but it is difficult to pinpoint small, fast space junk. The team created an algorithm for the Laser Rangefinder telescope, which greatly improved the speed of space debris detection. Using neural networks to improve the telescope’s pointing accuracy, the researchers said, space debris with a cross-sectional area of 1 square meter and a distance of 1,500 kilometers could be detected.
The previous algorithm allowed the detection of debris with only 1 km of accuracy. The researchers used neural networks and correction algorithms to optimize the network threshold for spatial spam recognition. This ensures that the network is less sensitive and can be trained in local space. The researchers of the project have shown that they have improved accuracy compared to the three traditional methods of the Beijing Fangshan Laser Rangefinder Telescope Station. The team says the new positioning correction algorithm has proven to be the most accurate, easy to operate and with good real-time performance. The researchers plan to further refine the technology. One researcher noted that obtaining space debris orbits could help the spacecraft operate safely.