ESA and EISCAT 3D Space Debris Simulation Hackathon

Field of view of EISCAT 3D (green lines). Points depict space debris object in space, based on the MASTER 2009 model. Orange points depict space debris objects that can possibly be observed with EISCAT 3D.
Last week, Daniel Kastinen from Institute for Space Physics (IRF), and Sebastian Hesselbach from Technical University of Braunschweig visited Tromsø. We are all collaborating on an ESA project, which intends to determine how well the new EISCAT 3D radar would function as a radar that tracks and catalogs space debris. You can find three scary informercials on this topic here: Video 1, Video 2, Video 3.

Our purpose was to integrate the Space Object Radar Tracking Simulator (SORTS) program to orbit determination software (SMART) developed in Braunschweig. Amongst other things, we worked on: data formats, Python-Fortran wrappers, propagator optimization and debugging, restructuring of code, initial orbit determination algorithm, and changes to the tracklet output directory structure. We made a lot of progress, and are now at a point where we can create hundreds of thousands of simulated EISCAT 3D tri-static radar tracks of objects and feed them into the orbit determination system. I even learned the basics of how to use git!
Code being written.

The week was spent writing software. I'd say that we averaged 12 hours per day. We made a lot of progress, and are now at a point where we can run through different radar usage scenarios.

On the last day, we made a little trip to the mountains, to counter all that sitting down.

Anyway, thanks for the highly productive visit!