ARA’s initial orbit determination method could help secure


Albuquerque, Sept. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As congestion in space increases, there is an immediate need to improve the speed and accuracy with which we determine the position and trajectory of objects in space. , and an innovative new concept from Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) may help address this need in the future.

Satellites in space provide increasingly essential services in our daily lives. Uses include GPS navigation and timing, satellite television and radio, weather forecasts, amazing new views of the universe, climate and disaster monitoring, and Google Earth photos of our homes. In the near future, thousands of satellites in orbit will provide high-speed Internet access to anyone, anywhere on the globe, and space tourism is also becoming a reality.

The safety and security of our operational satellites and manned spacecraft is vital to our economy, as well as to our national security. At the same time, space debris monitoring and traffic management issues loom on the horizon for the safe and continued operation of these critical services. With more and more objects in space, it is essential to accelerate our ability to determine the orbital trajectories of space objects in order to avoid collisions and interference.

ARA will present at the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies (AMOS) conference a research study that demonstrates that our ability to determine the orbit of novel or maneuvered objects in space using optical telescopes can be significantly improved in terms of speed and accuracy. The study, Advanced Uni-sensor Rapid Orbit Reconstruction Algorithm and Sensing (AURORAS), demonstrated a dramatic improvement in the speed and accuracy of initial optical orbit determination only through a revolutionary combination of new technology camera sensor and modified data reduction algorithms.

This innovative improvement to initial orbit determination is essential to ensuring the safety of space for its continued use in so many vital scientific, economic, civil and military arenas, said principal investigator Jeff Bloch, principal scientist at the ARA

“AURORAS is not a single breakthrough scientific or technological development, but rather the coming together of several new technologies and data analysis approaches from different fields which, when added together, revolutionize our ability to perform initial determination of the ‘orbit,” Bloch said. “In fact, many of the sensor advancements that make AURORAS possible are being developed for the self-driving car market.

The AMOS conference, which runs from September 27-30, is the nation’s premier space situational awareness/space domain awareness technical conference, according to The cross-section of private sector, government, and academic participation helps foster important dialogue and international collaboration.

For more information on ARA’s other spatial analysis capabilities, visit

About the ARA

Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) was founded in 1979, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to provide science and engineering research to solve problems of national importance. ARA provides industry-leading products and solutions for national defense, energy, homeland security, aerospace, healthcare, transportation and manufacturing. With more than 1,500 employee-owners at sites in the United States and Canada, ARA offers a wide range of technical expertise in defense technologies, civil engineering, computer software and simulation, systems analysis , biomedical engineering, environmental technologies and blast testing and measurement.


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