NASA-LMT: Video Images of a Satellite Transit                     


Time series of white light video images acquired with the NASA-LMT using the 40mm 2nd generation

Micro-Channel Plate (MCP) intensified digital video camera. The field of view is 0.444 degrees in

diameter. The interval between frames is 0.167 seconds which yields an angular velocity for the object

(indicated by green arrow) of approximately 0.813 degrees/sec. Assuming the object is in a circular orbit,

this corresponds to an altitude of 535 km. By calibrating the image using field stars of known brightness

and assuming an albedo and phase function, the object size can be obtained. In this example, the apparent

magnitude is approximately 11 which when coupled with the assumption of a 0.1 albedo and a specular

phase function, yields an object OCS based diameter of approximately 19 cm. The limiting apparent

magnitude with this detector is approximately 16.5.