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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1024529, 9 pages
Research Article

Space Object Detection in Video Satellite Images Using Motion Information

1College of Aerospace Science and Engineering, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410073, China
2School of Aerospace, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xueyang Zhang

Received 1 May 2017; Revised 7 August 2017; Accepted 30 August 2017; Published 17 October 2017

Academic Editor: Linda L. Vahala

Copyright © 2017 Xueyang Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Compared to ground-based observation, space-based observation is an effective approach to catalog and monitor increasing space objects. In this paper, space object detection in a video satellite image with star image background is studied. A new detection algorithm using motion information is proposed, which includes not only the known satellite attitude motion information but also the unknown object motion information. The effect of satellite attitude motion on an image is analyzed quantitatively, which can be decomposed into translation and rotation. Considering the continuity of object motion and brightness change, variable thresholding based on local image properties and detection of the previous frame is used to segment a single-frame image. Then, the algorithm uses the correlation of object motion in multiframe and satellite attitude motion information to detect the object. Experimental results with a video image from the Tiantuo-2 satellite show that this algorithm provides a good way for space object detection.