In the Crow’s Nest – SST

Joe asked if anyone was manning the “Crows Nest”, yes, and they are about to get an even better look.


Advanced Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) readies for 9,000-mile journey to Western Australia to enable valuable monitoring of objects 22,000 miles above Earth

As satellites become more common, they face growing risk of colliding with space debris and even each other. The U.S. Department of Defense has thus made space situational awareness a top priority to maintain communication, Earth observation and other critical capabilities upon which military, civilian and commercial functions rely. Traditional telescope technology, however, has difficulty finding and tracking small objects—such as debris and satellites—across wide tracks of sky, especially at the increasingly crowded geosynchronous orbits roughly 22,000 miles above the Earth’s surface.

To help overcome these challenges, DARPA has developed the Space Surveillance Telescope (SST). Through its unique combination of several novel technologies, the SST program seeks to enable much faster discovery and tracking of previously unseen, hard-to-find small objects in geosynchronous orbits. The SST will soon move from its current mountaintop location in New Mexico, where the system underwent operational testing and evaluation, to Australia, where it will provide key space situational awareness from the southern hemisphere—an area of the geosynchronous belt that is still largely unexplored.

Read the rest of the press release at the DARPA site.

BTW, our ice storm continues, it’s a mess out there. Power is back for now.

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