Orbital parameters determination via ground radar stations

Space Situational Awareness (SSA) is an activity ensuring the monitoring of space activities in order to have a common operational picture of space. One of the main objectives is the surveillance of orbits and the tracking of objects, which can be spacecraft and debris. Some satellite operators provide the orbital data of their spacecrafts, whereas the information of other objects in space (uncontrolled or classified satellites for example) require the use of ground stations in order to determine their orbital parameters.


The main objectives of this project is to determine the orbital parameters and attitude, if possible, of unknown objects using a set of ground stations in different location using radar technology. Some basic capacities are already available, but a whole system does not exist currently. This includes to
• Set the mathematical problems
• Design the algorithms to solve the orbital parameters
• Create a simulated environment (Digital Twin)
• Test the setup

Required skills

For the good realization of the project, it is recommended that the student have:
• General understanding of the orbital dynamics.
• Understanding in radar radio waves and RF physics
• Programming skills in Java or python
• Ability to appraise and adapt the project to fulfill the needs of the Space Domain
• 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.