Abstract by Daniel Jones
Physics and Astronomy
J. Ward Moody
Photometric and Polarimetric Signatures of Geosynchronous Satellites
Geosynchronous satellites (GEOs) need to be monitored to track their health, effects of space aging, and unexpected maneuvers. This can be accomplished by creating photometric and polarimetric signatures from light curves. To develop our understanding about how the light curves reveal the needed information we began by studying the 101 W satellite cluster. To create the light curves, observations were taken with the through Johnson V, B, R, and I filters as well as polarized filters using the telescopes at the Remote Observatory for Variable Object Research (ROVOR) and at the Optical Delving Infrared iNnovation (ODIN) laboratory. To determine the effects of aging, three signatures were compared with archived data for the respective GEOs. We found that dimming and/or reddening occurred. The dimming was equal to 0.1-0.2 mags and the B-V color increased by about 0.1 indicating a reddening by that amount. Using the polarized data, the Stokes parameters were calculated. An increased understanding of the satellite’s structure and movements can be obtained by analyzing how these parameters change in a night. This analysis is currently being performed.