This paper reviews the publicly available information on China’s existing and planned ground and space-based systems for its beyond geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) missions. This paper assumes that the PRC, like the U.S., has not needed a well optimized system for discovering, tracking, and cataloging multiple objects between GEO and the Moon, but might, like the U.S., consider how to leverage existing capabilities in anticipation of multiple actors operating beyond GEO.
This paper should be read as a supplement to CASI’s 2021 China’s Ground Segment: Building the Pillars of a Great Space Power, which primarily covers China’s national Earth orbit SSA stations. Similarly, this report is about the sensors and their location, not the software and algorithms to discover or track objects in non-repeating orbits. This report also assumes the reader has a basic understanding of the sensors themselves, for example, this report does not explain that optical telescopes can be limited by cloud cover whereas radio telescopes are not. It does not explain the difference between passive and active radio telescopes.
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