Satellite Constellations 1 Workshop Report

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    Dr Paul Leyland

    The American Astronomical Society has produced this (lightly edited) statement on Twitter:

    A report by experts representing the global astronomical community concludes that constellations of bright satellites in “low Earth orbit will change ground-based optical & IR #astronomy & could impact the NightSky for stargazers.”

    Two PDF-format documents are available as links contained in

    One is the SATCON1 report itself. The other contains the SATCON1 Working Group Technical Reports.

    TL:DR satellite mega-constellations have an impact ranging from negligible to catastrophic but some mitigation is possible in some areas.  Some of the mitigation may be expensive in terms of:

    compute power — generation of ephemerides; recognition and masking of trails in images ; correction of induced artifacts

    imaging technology — mid-exposure shuttering to avoid recording of satellite passage is not possible in many cameras; multi-slit spectroscopy needs to know which objects may be contaminated and which may not

    development time — for example, the development of per-pixel mid-exposure shuttering may be possible with CMOS detectors but it is likely to be years before they become available at adequate performance

    legal requirement: creation and enforcement of constraints on satellite operators

    satellite operator costs — darkening , attitude control and fitting of sunshades to satellites; adherence to legal constraints.

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