Tech

November 14, 2012

DARPA’s advanced Space Surveillance Telescope could be looking up from down under


DARPA’s ground-based Space Surveillance Telescope may soon head to Australia.

An agreement reached this week with Australia’s Department of Defense will allow DARPA to take the 180,000-pound, three-mirror Mersenne-Schmidt telescope to Australia to track and catalogues space debris and objects unique to the space above that region of the world that could threaten DOD satellites.

In the joint agreement, the U.S. and Australia have decided to work towards the establishment of the Space Surveillance Telescope on Australian soil.

SST was developed to detect and track previously unseen small objects at the deep space altitudes associated with geosynchronous orbits (roughly 22,000 miles high). Begun in 2002, SST achieved many technical firsts and advances. Able to search an area in space the size of the United States in seconds, SST uses the first large curved charge coupled device focal array. It currently possesses the steepest primary mirror ever polished allowing the telescope to have the fastest optics of this aperture class. The system is capable of detecting a small laser pointer on top of New York City’s Empire State Building from a distance equal to Miami, Florida. These features combine to provide orders of magnitude improvements in field of view and scanning for deep space surveillance.

“We value the partnership with Australia that allows us to widen our space situational awareness and share some of our revolutionary technology advances in space surveillance,” said Travis Blake, DARPA program manager. “This technology development effort could benefit both nations as we catalogue and detect entire sets of currently uncharted objects that are in geosynchronous orbit above Australia.”

SST will feed the data it captures into the Space Surveillance Network, a U.S. Air Force program charged with cataloguing and observing space objects to identify potential near-term collisions with assets in space. The SSN is a worldwide network of 29 space surveillance sensors, including radar and optical telescopes, both military and civilian. DARPA and Australia will also continue to provide deep space surveillance data to NASA for small asteroid detection and to the scientific community.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 21, 2014

News: Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him - Almost 10 years after the friendly fire death of former NFL star turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman, a fellow ranger admits that he may have been the one who fired the fatal shot.   Business: Ship study should favor existing designs -...
 
 

News Briefs April 21, 2014

Navy OKs changes for submariners’ sleep schedules The U.S. Navy has endorsed changes to submarine sailors’ schedules based on research into sleep patterns by a military laboratory in Connecticut. With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the Navy for decades has staggered sailors’ working hours on schedules with little resemblance...
 
 

NASA cargo launches to space station aboard SpaceX resupply mission

Nearly 2.5 tons of NASA science investigations and cargo are on the way to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. The spacecraft launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 3:25 p.m., EDT, April 18. The mission is the company’s third...
 

 

Second series of CASIS-sponsored research payloads launch to ISS

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space is proud to announce several sponsored research payloads have launched to the International Space Station onboard the Space Exploration Technology Corporation’s Dragon cargo capsule. This marks the second series of investigations headed to the station that are sponsored by CASIS, the nonprofit responsible for managing research...
 
 

Boeing to give California workers $47 million in back pay

PALMDALE, Calif. – Boeing will pay $47 million to hundreds of current and former Southern California employees who are owed back pay and benefits, a union announced April 18. An arbitrator ruled against the aerospace giant in January and laid down guidelines for the payments and interest, but it took months to cull through records...
 
 

NASA selects commercial crew program manager

NASA has selected Kathy Lueders as program manager for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Lueders, who has served as acting program manager since October 2013, will help keep the nation’s space program on course to launch astronauts from American soil by 2017 aboard spacecraft built by American companies. “This is a particularly critical time for...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>