A modeling and validation method of photometric characteristics of the space target was presented in order to track and identify different satellites effectively. The background radiation characteristics models of the target were built based on blackbody radiation theory. The geometry characteristics of the target were illustrated by the surface equations based on its body coordinate system. The material characteristics of the target surface were described by a bidirectional reflectance distribution function model, which considers the character of surface Gauss statistics and microscale self-shadow and is obtained by measurement and modeling in advance. The contributing surfaces of the target to observation system were determined by coordinate transformation according to the relative position of the space-based target, the background radiation sources, and the observation platform. Then a mathematical model on photometric characteristics of the space target was built by summing reflection components of all the surfaces. Photometric characteristics simulation of the space-based target was achieved according to its given geometrical dimensions, physical parameters, and orbital parameters. Experimental validation was made based on the scale model of the satellite. The calculated results fit well with the measured results, which indicates the modeling method of photometric characteristics of the space target is correct.
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