GESTRA - Recent Progress, Mode Design and Signal Processing
The daily life on earth relies on the undisturbed services of satellites and space missions. With the growing amount of space debris particles the space-based infrastructure is increasingly endangered. To protect satellites and space missions it is mandatory to identify, track and monitor space debris objects with highly sensitive radar sensors. To support the German Space Situational Awareness Center, the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques (FHR) was commissioned by the DLR Space Administration in 2015 to design a high performance L-band phased-array radar to observe the low-earth orbit: GESTRA (German Experimental Space Surveillance and Tracking Radar). The long-term aim of GESTRA is to build up a catalog with orbital data for objects located at altitudes of less than 3000 km. GESTRA will provide valuable data sets for the global space situational awareness efforts.