University of Arizona
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Steward Observatory LEO Satellite Photometric Survey

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posted on 2023-09-21, 14:34 authored by Harrison Ryan KrantzHarrison Ryan Krantz, Eric Pearce, Adam Block

The Steward Observatory LEO Satellite Photometric Survey is a comprehensive observational survey to characterize the apparent brightness of the Starlink and OneWeb low Earth orbit satellites and evaluate the potential impact to astronomy. Included are the photometric and astrometric measurements for each satellite observed from May 2020 to December 2022. Only satellites with measured position error of less than 0.5 degrees are included.

In addition to visual magnitudes, we also present two new metrics: the expected photon flux and the effective albedo. The expected photon flux metric assesses the potential impact to astronomy sensors by predicting the flux for a satellite trail in an image from a theoretical 1-meter class telescope and sensor. The effective albedo metric assesses where a satellite is more reflective than baseline, which ties to the physical structure of the satellite and indicates the potential for brightness-reducing design changes.

Please see the published article for a complete explanation of the observational survey and dataset creation.

For inquiries regarding the contents of this dataset, please contact the Corresponding Author listed in the README.txt file. Administrative inquiries (e.g., removal requests, trouble downloading, etc.) can be directed to