Joint 3D Localization and Classification of Space Debris using a Multispectral Rotating Point Spread Function

Chao Wang, Grey Ballard, Robert Plemmons, Sudhakar Prasad

We consider the problem of joint three-dimensional (3D) localization and material classification of unresolved space debris using a multispectral rotating point spread function (RPSF). The use of RPSF allows one to estimate the 3D locations of point sources from their rotated images acquired by a single 2D sensor array, since the amount of rotation of each source image about its x, y location depends on its axial distance z. Using multi-spectral images, with one RPSF per spectral band, we are able not only to localize the 3D positions of the space debris but also classify their material composition. We propose a three-stage method for achieving joint localization and classification. In Stage 1, we adopt an optimization scheme for localization in which the spectral signature of each material is assumed to be uniform, which significantly improves efficiency and yields better localization results than possible with a single spectral band. In Stage 2, we estimate the spectral signature and refine the localization result via an alternating approach. We process classification in the final stage. Both Poisson noise and Gaussian noise models are considered, and the implementation of each is discussed. Numerical tests using multispectral data from NASA show the efficiency of our three-stage approach and illustrate the improvement of point source localization and spectral classification from using multiple bands over a single band.

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