Research Areas

  • Laser ranging of the Earth satellites;
  • Positional (coordinate) observations of the satellites and space debris;
  • Photometric and polarimetric observations of the satellites;
  • Research and improvement of the optical facilities for satellite observation;
  • Automatization of the astronomical observations.
The staff of the department also performs works connected with conservation and providing proper functioning of the scientific object of national heritage – The research institution of the equipment used to study the artificial astronomical objects in the near space of the astronomical observatory of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv”, conducted according to the Contract with the Ministry of Education of Science of Ukraine № Н/148-2009 since 20.04.2015 (originally since 2009).
slr_systemThe satellite laser ranging (SLR) station “Lviv-1831” was established in August, 1998 (the first results of the observations were obtained). In August 2002 the station was registered at the International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) – the ranging observations of the Earth satellites are being performed within the ILRS international network and in collaboration with the Main Astronomical Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (MAO NASU).
sich1m_lightcurvePhotometric observations of the artificial satellites provide information on the nature of the satellite movement in the orbit, its constructive features. In case of an emergency (e.g. – collision with space garbage object or the navigation system fault) – it can be the only source of reliable information on the state of the object.
satellite_uranlclThe observations of the low orbit Earth satellites, space debris, the objects from the National Space Facilities Control and Test Center of State Space Agency of Ukraine are performed at the Ukrainian Optical Facilities for Near-Earth Space Surveillance Network ((UMOS)).
image021Modernization of the electronic photometer and polarimeter is performed at the department on the basis of the photomultiplier tube FEU-79 (ФЭУ-79) using the 350-mm optics of the Cassergrain system in the satellite four-axis guide mounting LD-2 (ЛД-2). At the same time a number of lenses for conducting photometric and positional observations of the low orbit Earth satellites using CCTV cameras with matrix based on the charge-coupled device as photodetectors are also under research.
ld2_smgammaWorks on the improvement of the four-axis guide mounting LD-2 system are conducted in collaboration with the department of Precision mechanics devices at the Institute of Computer Technologies, Automation and Metrology to expand the speed spectrum of the guide mounting which is expected to provide the possibility of both stars and low orbit satellites observations.
tpl_satA number of programs and scripts are being developed using the operational system Linux to automatize the astronomical observations: laser ranging, with the TPL-1M (ТПЛ-1М) telescope in particular; updating and displaying the database of the results of the laser ranging and positional observations of the satellites, etc. The development of the new software to operate the guide mounting LD-2 (ЛД-2), editing laser and photometric satellite observations.


Telescope TPL-1M (ТПЛ-1М) is used for:

  • laser pulse collimation
  • focussing reflected laser pulse from the satellite
  • celestial objects tracking
Main mirror diameter : 1 m
Focal length of the main optical system (at wavelength 532 nm) : – 11600 mm
Mounting : alt-azimuth
Transmit-receive system : coude focus
Azimuth range : -200° – +430°
Altitude (elevation) range : 0° – 85°
Limbs scale (both azimuth and altitude) : 12′
Telescope motion step (both azimuth and altitude) : 1″
Maximum speed of tracking : 2°⁄sec.

Telescope Meade-DS2130 with additional lens Jupiter-9
Automated telescope on alt-azimuth mounting. Application : positional observations of LEO satellites.
Main mirror diameter : 130 mm
Focal lenght : 1000 mm
Additional lens : Jupiter-9 (56/85)
FOV : 3° х 4°
Mounting : automated, with remote and computer control

Lens Uran-9
The lenses were installed on telescopes TPL-1M (ТПЛ-1М) and LD-2 (ЛД-2). The primary application – astrocamera NAFA-3S/25 (НАФА-3С/25).
Lens diameter : 100 mm
Focal lenght : 255 mm
D/F ratio : 1:2.5
FOV : 54°
Mountings : TPL-1M (ТПЛ-1М), LD-2 (ЛД-2)
Transmittance : 0.65
Lens number : 7

Telescope GLD-250 (ГЛД-250)
Guide lens from the telescope LD-2 was installed on equatorial mounting. The new telescope was equipped with astrocamera SXV-M9 and optical filters Astrodon (UBVRI). Application : GEO satellites and asteroids observations.
Main mirror diameter : 250 mm
Focal length : 1250 mm
D/F ratio – 1:5
FOV with CCD : 18′
Mounting : equatorial

350-mm Cassegrain reflectors
The lenses were installed on the LD-2 mounting. Light receivers (PMT, CCTV or CCD) can be installed in the direct focus or in the main focus of the optics.
Main mirror diameter : 350 mm
Main mirror focal length : 680 mm
Focal length : 3380 mm
D/F ratio – 1:10
FOV : 20′
Mounting : LD-2 (ЛД-2)

The main publications


  • Koshkin N. Simultaneous Multi-site Photometry of LEO Satellites to Characterize their Rotation States / Koshkin N.,… , Bilinsky A., Vovchyk Ye.,… et al. // OAP.- 2020.- Vol. 33, p. 119–124.
  • Koval’chuk, M.M. Role of the solar wind parameters in changing orbital motion of the Earth’s satellites / Koval’chuk, M.M., Bilinsky, A.I. et al. // Kinemat. Phys. Celest. Bodies.- 2017.- Vol. 33, p. 295–301.
  • Koval’chuk, M.M. Investigation of heliogeoactivity impact on the dynamics of orbital parameters of Earth’s artificial satellites. I. / Koval’chuk, M.M., Hirnyak, M.B., Baran, O.A. et al. // Kinemat. Phys. Celest. Bodies.- 2017.- Vol. 33, p. 245–249.
  • Koval’chuk M. Estimation of the lifetime of artificail satellites of the Earth depending on their elements of orbit / M. Koval’chuk, Ye. Vovchyk, A. Bilinsky, K. Martynyuk-Lototsky et al. // Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.- 2017/6.- Vol. 55, p. 39-43.
  • Acero F. Prospects for Cherenkov Telescope Array observations of the young supernova remnant RX J1713.7−3946 / Fabio Acero,…, A. Bilinsky,… et al. // The Astrophysical Journal.- 2017.- Vol. 840, Is. 2, p.74-88.
  • Шульга О.В. Розвиток української мережі оптичних станцій УМОС як складового елементу системи контролю навколоземного космічного простору / Шульга О.В., Білінський, А.І., Благодир, Я.Т., Вовчик, Є.Б., Мартинюк-Лотоцький, К.А. та ін. // Косм. наука технол.- 2015.- № 21(3), с.74–82.
  • A.Bilinsky ILRS Station Reports: Lviv, Ukraine / A.Bilinsky, Ya.Blagodyr, K.Martyniuk-Lototsky, N.Virun, E.Vovchyk, A.Kurylo // 2009-2010 ILRS Report.– Greenbelt(USA) : Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, 2012.- P.12-45.
  • Apunevych S.V. The station “Lviv” of satellite laser ranging / Apunevych S.V., Apunevych S.Ye., Bilinsky A., Blagodyr Ya., Virun N., Vovchyk Ye., Martyniuk-Lototsky K. // Proceedings of the 6th Orlov conference. – K.:Akademperiodyka, 2010. – P. 141-143.
  • Апуневич С.В., Благодыр Я.Т., Билинский А.И, Вирун Н.В., Вовчик Е.Б., Логвиненко А.А., Мартинюк-Лотоцький К.П. Аппаратурное обеспечение пункта для комплексных наблюдений искусственных спутников Земли // Околоземная астрономия‑2009 : сб. трудов конференции. – М.: ГEОС, 2010. – С. 84‑87.
  • S.Apunevych ILRS Station Reports: Lviv, Ukraine / S.Apunevych, A.Bilinsky, Ya.Blagodyr, N.Virun, E.Vovchyk, K.Martyniuk-Lototsky // 2007-2008 ILRS Annual Report.– Greenbelt(USA) : Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, 2009.- P.13-41–13-43.
  • Козырев Е.С., Сибирякова Е.С., Шульга А.В., Апуневич С.В., Билинский А.И., Благодыр Я.Т., Вирун Н.В., Вовчик Е.Б., Логвиненко А.А., Мартынюк-Лотоцкий К.П. Совместный проект НИИ “Николаевская астрономическая обсерватория” и Львовской астрономической обсерватории по позиционным наблюдениям ИСЗ // Материалы международной конференции «Околоземная Астрономия-2007», Нальчик.-2008, с.326-331.
  • Ja.Blagodyr, A.Bilinsky, K.Martynyuk-Lototsky, O.Lohvynenko, N.Virun Overview and performance of the Ukrainian SLR station “Lviv-1831” // Artificial Satellites, Vol.42, No.1, Warszawa-.2007, pp.9-15. DOI: 10.2478/v10018-007-0014-4
  • A.Bilinsky, Ya.Blagodyr, A.Lohvynenko, et al. “ILRS Station Reports: Lviv, Ukraine” // International laser Ranging Service 2005-2006 Annual Report, 2007, pp.B37-B38.

Patents (in Ukrainian)

Research Work with students

The academic introductory internship for the 3rd and 4th year students of the Faculty of Physics of the University was held at the countryside observation site belonging to the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. The students go acquainted with researching the Earth satellites and conducted observation using the AZT-14 telescope (АЗТ-14).

With the help of the Department of Astrophysics the most successful students were involved into the geostationary satellite AZT-14 (АЗТ-14) observation program.

The academic introductory internship for the 3rd year students of the Department of Physics was held at the countryside observation site belonging to the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. The research internship was also conducted for the master students studying at the Geodesy Institute at Lviv Polytechnic National Unversity. During those internships the students contributed to the real Earth satellite observations.

The academic introductory internship for the students studying at the Department of Astrophysics of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv was held at the countryside observation site.

The research internship for was conducted for the master students studying at the Geodesy Institute at Lviv Polytechnic National Unversity.

The academic introductory internship was conducted for Neubradenburg high school students in collaboration with Lviv Polytechnic National Unversity.

The topics of the research (diploma and master’s thesis) papers focused on the optical Earth satellites observation were submitted (in collaboration with Department of Astrophysics).

A number of laboratory works was conducted withing the course of “Cosmic Geodesy and Satellite Astronomy” for master students.