Simulate Optical Staring for Space Awareness Observation

The thousands of satellites in Earth’s orbital space have to be tracked. Some operators deliberately inform the public of their satellite orbits, while others tend to hide this information. For Space Situational Awareness (SSA), it is necessary to observations provided by stations around the globe to complete the recognized space picture. The observation capabilities and resources are however limited, as well as favorable nights for observing, and a strategy has to be put in place.


At first, the student will have to identify where the location of the stations that could be placed around the globe considering technical and political aspects. Then, in collaboration with a commercial entity in Switzerland, the student will have to simulate the location of the observation stations as well as their attitudes and technologies. The goal is to obtain the maximum coverage of the sky using different sets of stations, their location, and their characteristics.

Required skills

For the good realization of the project, it is recommended that the student have:
• General understanding of the orbital dynamics
• Programming skills in Java or python
• Ability to appraise and adapt the project to fulfill the needs of the Space Domain operation team
• A sense of responsibility to provide the work quality to be used for everyday applications.

Place of work

The student will have the opportunity to work in a stimulating environment with other students in different locations (Lausanne, Bern, Zurich) in Switzerland depending on the needs of the projects.