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 August 25, 2014

News: U.S. sends second carrier to Asia amid tensions with China - The Navy is sending a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Asia Pacific region amid new tensions with China over a dangerous aerial encounter between a Chinese interceptor and a Navy P-8 surveillance aircraft. SpaceX rocket explodes during test flight - A SpaceX rocket...
 
 

News Briefs August 25, 2014

China says U.S. plane intercept was professional China’s Defense Ministry has rejected U.S. accusations that a Chinese fighter jet conducted a dangerous intercept of a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft off the coast of China in international airspace. The ministry issued a statement Aug. 23 attributed to spokesman Yang Yujun calling the U.S. accusations groundless. It...
 
 

Ukraine plans $3 billion boost to defense spending

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s president announced plans Aug. 24 to boost his country’s defense spending by an estimated 50 percent as government forces seek to overpower pro-Russian separatists in the east. President Petro Poroshenko pledged to spend an extra 40 billion hryvnia ($3 billion) by 2017 during a speech marking Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet...
 

 

NASA awards research facilities, engineering support services contract

NASA has awarded a contract for research facilities and engineering support services to InuTeq, LLC of Greenbelt, Maryland, in support of the Mission Information and Test Systems Directorate at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. This cost-plus-award-fee contract covers a one-year base period beginning Nov. 1, 2014 and four one-year options, and is valued...
 
 

Navy Awards General Dynamics contract for LCS planning yard services

The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics Bath Iron Works a $100 million contract to provide planning yard services for the Littoral Combat Ship program. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is a business unit of General Dynamics. Bath Iron Works, as the LCS Planning Yard, will provide maintenance and modernization support for all Navy LCS 1...
 
 
boeing-boc

Boeing, BOC Aviation announce order for 82 airplanes

  Boeing announced Aug. 25 an order by BOC Aviation for 50 737 MAX 8s, 30 Next-Generation 737-800s and two 777-300ERs (Extended Range). The order, valued at $8.8 billion at list prices, is the largest in BOC Aviation’...
 




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>