Author Topic: USAF seeks space debris defense  (Read 18030 times)

Offline Star One

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USAF seeks space debris defense
« on: 05/30/2014 03:18 PM »
Quote
An emphasis on space situational awareness, also known as SSA, isn’t new. Gen. William Shelton, who will retire as head of Air Force Space Command in August, has consistently warned that space is more “competitive, congested and contested” than ever before, necessitating greater awareness of what is floating around the earth.

But this year, there was more open conversation about the need to track the hundreds of thousands of objects, most of which could rip a hole through a multimillion dollar satellite.

“Currently we track more than 23,000 objects in space,” Shelton said in his May 20 keynote address. “However, our sensors cannot see the estimated 500,000 pieces of debris between 1 and 10 centimeters in size. We’ve learned some lessons the hard way with orbital collisions and this increased traffic in space is causing collision-avoidance maneuvers at a pace we’ve never before experienced. After five decades of relatively benign operations, space is becoming an increasingly challenging place to operate.”

It’s not just debris that poses a threat to US hardware. Shelton highlighted the ways that foreign powers could target satellites in orbit, leaving a core capability of the American military offline.

“If we don’t come together as a world community to condemn this kind of weapon, we face the very real threat of making low earth orbit unusable for years,” Shelton warned.

The cornerstone of improving the Air Force’s space situational awareness is the Space Fence program. The Air Force is relying on Space Fence to “detect, track and measure an object the size of a softball orbiting more than 1,200 miles in space,” according to a service statement.

Good article on the various interrelated solutions that are being looked in relation to this problem.

http://www.c4isrnet.com/article/20140529/C4ISRNET08/305290002/USAF-seeks-space-debris-defense
« Last Edit: 05/30/2014 03:21 PM by Star One »

Offline Star One

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USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #1 on: 06/03/2014 11:30 PM »
Relating to this the Space Fence program has now been awarded by the USAF to LM. It is interesting how we get acres of coverage of the latest Space X program or whoever, yet vital safety nets such as this get ignored but I suppose these kind of things just aren't 'glamorous' enough.

Quote
The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin the contract for its Space Fence program, worth $914.7 million.

The contract puts the world’s largest defense company in charge of developing the Space Fence system, a key asset in the service’s plans for space situational awareness (SSA). Lockheed was in competition with Raytheon for the program.

The contract awards Lockheed $415 million for RDT&E efforts immediately, while the rest will be earned over the course of the 52-month period the company has before it must reach initial operational capability.

Space Fence consists of a large S-band radar on the Kwajalein Atoll of the Marshall Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean. Due to its proximity to the equator, Kwajalein provides a wide angle for the radar to take in as much of the sky as possible. With the Earth’s rotation, the stationary radar creates a “fence” through which everything in space should pass over the course of 24 hours.

http://www.c4isrnet.com/article/20140603/C4ISRNET08/306030003/Lockheed-takes-Space-Fence-contract
« Last Edit: 06/03/2014 11:35 PM by Star One »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #2 on: 06/04/2014 01:28 AM »
Hey I saw the announcement over at defense news today. Kinda raised an eyebrow because, let me get this straight again, they shut down the prior system before even awarding the contract for the follow on system?

To me that is worth discussing. I realize it was done that way to force the budgetary hand and to try and protect the new system, but in book there are several negative words starting with T and R I could use. So lets stay positive and be happy the system is moving forward.

....And drink some raspberry cool aid hoping the second Australian site will be built.
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline Avron

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #3 on: 06/04/2014 02:18 AM »
is this another "Shelton" deal?

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #4 on: 06/04/2014 03:58 AM »
It is interesting how we get acres of coverage of the latest Space X program or whoever, yet vital safety nets such as this get ignored but I suppose these kind of things just aren't 'glamorous' enough.

Many of us dream of human civilization expanding out into space.  The space fence is critical for maintaining what we already have, but it doesn't hold the promise of bring major progress in the human expansion into space.  Cheap and safe human orbital launch does hold that promise.  SpaceX seems most likely, right now, to give us cheap and safe human access to space, which is why it's more fun to think about than a space fence.

Offline Star One

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #5 on: 06/04/2014 06:58 AM »

It is interesting how we get acres of coverage of the latest Space X program or whoever, yet vital safety nets such as this get ignored but I suppose these kind of things just aren't 'glamorous' enough.

Many of us dream of human civilization expanding out into space.  The space fence is critical for maintaining what we already have, but it doesn't hold the promise of bring major progress in the human expansion into space.  Cheap and safe human orbital launch does hold that promise.  SpaceX seems most likely, right now, to give us cheap and safe human access to space, which is why it's more fun to think about than a space fence.

All very noble but it cannot be done without something like Space Fence to help make a start on this thanks to fact that as usual Humans have left so much 'litter' up in orbit.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #6 on: 06/04/2014 07:42 AM »

It is interesting how we get acres of coverage of the latest Space X program or whoever, yet vital safety nets such as this get ignored but I suppose these kind of things just aren't 'glamorous' enough.

Many of us dream of human civilization expanding out into space.  The space fence is critical for maintaining what we already have, but it doesn't hold the promise of bring major progress in the human expansion into space.  Cheap and safe human orbital launch does hold that promise.  SpaceX seems most likely, right now, to give us cheap and safe human access to space, which is why it's more fun to think about than a space fence.

All very noble but it cannot be done without something like Space Fence to help make a start on this thanks to fact that as usual Humans have left so much 'litter' up in orbit.

Absolutely.  I'm not saying it's less important.  Just less interesting to think about.

The farms that grow our food are critical to our lives.  We'd all starve to death without them.  But I'm on a spaceflight forum, not a farming forum.  That doesn't mean farms aren't important.  They're just not as interesting to think about.

Offline Star One

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #7 on: 06/04/2014 12:33 PM »


It is interesting how we get acres of coverage of the latest Space X program or whoever, yet vital safety nets such as this get ignored but I suppose these kind of things just aren't 'glamorous' enough.

Many of us dream of human civilization expanding out into space.  The space fence is critical for maintaining what we already have, but it doesn't hold the promise of bring major progress in the human expansion into space.  Cheap and safe human orbital launch does hold that promise.  SpaceX seems most likely, right now, to give us cheap and safe human access to space, which is why it's more fun to think about than a space fence.

All very noble but it cannot be done without something like Space Fence to help make a start on this thanks to fact that as usual Humans have left so much 'litter' up in orbit.

Absolutely.  I'm not saying it's less important.  Just less interesting to think about.

The farms that grow our food are critical to our lives.  We'd all starve to death without them.  But I'm on a spaceflight forum, not a farming forum.  That doesn't mean farms aren't important.  They're just not as interesting to think about.

Cleaning up the litter should be a prior priority to my mind.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #8 on: 06/04/2014 12:42 PM »
Or knowing where it is so you don't end up running it over. Remember the previous an promised future space fences are small beans when it comes to the budgets.
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #9 on: 06/05/2014 12:17 AM »
Or knowing where it is so you don't end up running it over. Remember the previous an promised future space fences are small beans when it comes to the budgets.

Small beans?  The contract just signed is worth nearly a billion dollars.

A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #10 on: 06/05/2014 01:19 AM »
Yeah, and AFSSS (The predecessor we could no longer afford) only cost $14 million a year to operate...

btw.

An excellent article that did a great job of explaining the moving of the deck chairs back when AFSSS was shutdown. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2357/1

And the thread that appeared when AFSSS was shutdown. http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32566.msg1082641#msg1082641

Is this months flavor still raspberry?
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Online Comga

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #11 on: 06/05/2014 06:43 AM »
I have seen not one word about "defense".
This is all " situational awareness".
[sarcasm]
And that's not worth spending $14M a per year on so it can't be very important.
It worked so well to kill the Saturns years before Shuttle and Shuttle years before Orion or Commercial Crew and the F-22 production well before they deploy the F-35....
[/sarcasm]

Edit: added tag although the first line may not be
« Last Edit: 06/05/2014 07:29 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #12 on: 06/05/2014 11:57 AM »
Comga, you forgot to use the [satire] tag ;)
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline Star One

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #13 on: 06/09/2014 05:13 PM »
Quote
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force’s contract with Lockheed Martin to develop a next-generation space surveillance system includes measures to ensure compatibility with the service’s situation room for space activity, which also is undergoing a major upgrade.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/military-space/40839space-fence-development-closely-tied-to-upgrade-of-us-air-force-control

Offline Burninate

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #14 on: 06/10/2014 08:28 AM »
Yeah, and AFSSS (The predecessor we could no longer afford) only cost $14 million a year to operate...

btw.

An excellent article that did a great job of explaining the moving of the deck chairs back when AFSSS was shutdown. http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2357/1

And the thread that appeared when AFSSS was shutdown. http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32566.msg1082641#msg1082641

Is this months flavor still raspberry?
Quote
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force’s contract with Lockheed Martin to develop a next-generation space surveillance system includes measures to ensure compatibility with the service’s situation room for space activity, which also is undergoing a major upgrade.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/military-space/40839space-fence-development-closely-tied-to-upgrade-of-us-air-force-control

So the synopsis, if I'm reading this right, is that the Air Force wanted to upgrade their space fence radar to 10x higher frequency, which could detect objects at 1/10 the size they can now, and they chose to shut down their old site as obsolete in the hopes of prodding Congress to erect a new one speedily.  They were successful, sort of - delayed from last year's budget problems, it was just bid out, though it will only be complete in 2022.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2014 08:34 AM by Burninate »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #15 on: 06/10/2014 11:57 AM »
That's been the synopsis of most articles on the subject. Yes... Shutdown the primary asset so they have to build a newer better asset and pray they can cover the gap in the interim.
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline Star One

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #16 on: 06/10/2014 02:54 PM »

That's been the synopsis of most articles on the subject. Yes... Shutdown the primary asset so they have to build a newer better asset and pray they can cover the gap in the interim.

It appears on the face of it a risky strategy but it appears to have worked. I presume it links into their on orbit assets, but not to be speculated on as it's probably classified.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #17 on: 06/10/2014 04:20 PM »
It appears on the face of it a risky strategy but it appears to have worked. I presume it links into their on orbit assets, but not to be speculated on as it's probably classified.

I think it's a little hasty to say the gambit worked. The new system has only been contracted and will still have a coverage gap until 2018.

It has to go forward, only because there is now a gap. They just insured themselves a program, no matter how large the cost overruns.

If a preventable event occurs between now and 2018 the gambit will have failed and the money saved wasted. Though one would have to prove that the uncued search capability of the older system would have prevented the event(s). And then we enter the spin zone...
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Online Comga

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #18 on: 06/10/2014 05:05 PM »
It appears on the face of it a risky strategy but it appears to have worked. I presume it links into their on orbit assets, but not to be speculated on as it's probably classified.

I think it's a little hasty to say the gambit worked. The new system has only been contracted and will still have a coverage gap until 2018.

It has to go forward, only because there is now a gap. They just insured themselves a program, no matter how large the cost overruns.

If a preventable event occurs between now and 2018 the gambit will have failed and the money saved wasted. Though one would have to prove that the uncued search capability of the older system would have prevented the event(s). And then we enter the spin zone...

What Kevin_rf said
It all depends on how you define "worked".
So far it is working for Lockheed.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Star One

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USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #19 on: 06/10/2014 08:45 PM »
It appears on the face of it a risky strategy but it appears to have worked. I presume it links into their on orbit assets, but not to be speculated on as it's probably classified.

I think it's a little hasty to say the gambit worked. The new system has only been contracted and will still have a coverage gap until 2018.

It has to go forward, only because there is now a gap. They just insured themselves a program, no matter how large the cost overruns.

If a preventable event occurs between now and 2018 the gambit will have failed and the money saved wasted. Though one would have to prove that the uncued search capability of the older system would have prevented the event(s). And then we enter the spin zone...

That's a fair point, but you might argue that they were forced into such a gambit by the tight control of their political masters on the purse strings when it came to paying for this necessary upgrade.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2014 08:45 PM by Star One »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #20 on: 06/10/2014 11:03 PM »
Depends on whose side you take. One can argue that Airforce overreached on the upgrade compared to the Navy's proposed more modest upgrade.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2357/1

Yes, I fully expect them to blow the budget out of the water based on the no alternative argument while we hold our breath until we turn blue...
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline D_Dom

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #21 on: 06/11/2014 07:24 PM »
Breath holding, spin cycling, do we need any specific personal protective equipment for these activities? I guess tin foil hats will be inadequate.
Space is not merely a matter of life or death, it is considerably more important than that!

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #22 on: 06/11/2014 08:22 PM »
tiny martini umbrella's ;)
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #23 on: 06/18/2014 06:21 PM »
When changing the guard it is conventional for the new guards to get into uniform whilst the old guards are still at their posts.  Congress needs to apply this to space.

Offline Star One

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #24 on: 08/18/2014 05:32 PM »
Lockheed taps GenDyn unit for Space Fence ground equipment structures.

Quote
Ground structures for housing the U.S. Space Fence program are to be designed and built by a General Dynamics business unit under contract from Lockheed Martin.

The structures - as well as integration of mechanical systems for the project - will start next year on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Lockheed_taps_GenDyn_unit_for_Space_Fence_ground_equipment_structures_999.html


Offline AnalogMan

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #26 on: 08/22/2014 04:53 PM »
This conference paper (recently added to NTRS collection) addresses a method of reducing the effects of debris rather than detection methods - thought it might be of interest to readers of this thread.

LightForce Photon-Pressure Collision Avoidance: Efficiency Assessment on an Entire Catalogue of Space Debris
Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference 2013 10-13 Sept. 2013

Abstract

The potential to perturb debris orbits using photon pressure from ground-based lasers has been confirmed by independent research teams. Two useful applications of this scheme are protecting space assets from impacts with debris and stabilizing the orbital debris environment, both relying on collision avoidance rather than de-orbiting debris. This paper presents the results of a new assessment method to analyze the efficiency of the concept for collision avoidance. Earlier research concluded that one ground based system consisting of a 10 kW class laser, directed by a 1.5 m telescope with adaptive optics, can prevent a significant fraction of debris-debris collisions in low Earth orbit. That research used in-track displacement to measure efficiency and restricted itself to an analysis of a limited number of objects. As orbit prediction error is dependent on debris object properties, a static displacement threshold should be complemented with another measure to assess the efficiency of the scheme. In this paper we present the results of an approach using probability of collision. Using a least-squares fitting method, we improve the quality of the original TLE catalogue in terms of state and co-state accuracy. We then calculate collision probabilities for all the objects in the catalogue. The conjunctions with the highest risk of collision are then engaged by a simulated network of laser ground stations. After those engagements, the perturbed orbits are used to re-assess the collision probability in a 20 minute window around the original conjunction. We then use different criteria to evaluate the utility of the laser-based collision avoidance scheme and assess the number of base-line ground stations needed to mitigate a significant number of high probability conjunctions. Finally, we also give an account how a laser ground station can be used for both orbit deflection and debris tracking.

Conclusions

We investigated the efficiency of the LightForce photon pressure collision avoidance concept using the entire catalogue of tracked space objects. We assembled a list of occurring conjunctions for the simulation time frame, investigated the utility of several different LightForce configurations and developed two different metrics to assess the utility of the system. The first metric is used to assess the fraction of conjunctions that can be mitigated. This approach is useful if one wants to optimize for the protection of assets, e.g. gain the capability to protect one satellite against as many potential impacts as possible. The second metric assesses the reduction of the expected value of collisions if the system is active. This metric is useful for optimizing the effect on the debris environment in general. LightForce can be used to achieve both goals. With one 20 kW laser placed in Antarctica, a fraction of 58% of conjunctions can be mitigated, resulting in 79% reduction in expected number of collisions (for now neglecting effects of station duty cycles). More sophisticated systems improve those numbers (see Tables 3,4). These results illustrate why we believe that LightForce is a suitable solution to provide immediate benefits for space operations and also would be an extremely beneficial supplement to any long-term active debris removal efforts.

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20140008926.pdf
(copy also attached)

Figure 1 Caption:
Schematic view of a laser facility and the operations for nudging space debris using photon pressure. Slowing down the debris results in loss in orbital energy, hence in a lower orbit with a higher velocity.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #27 on: 11/16/2014 02:02 AM »
Don't think I have seen this on NSF before, but stumbled across this on youtube tonight. Two Lockheed promo video's on space fence.



I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline Targeteer

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #28 on: 03/18/2015 07:14 AM »
http://www.losangeles.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123442067

Space Fence Groundbreaking Ceremony Held

Story at a Glance
• Ground breaking kicks off a 36-month long construction effort to build the Space Fence radar system on Kwajalein Atoll
• Space Fence will significantly improve space situational awareness by more accurately detecting and tracking objects such as satellites,space debris
• Once complete, the Air Force will conduct system acceptance testing
• Projected date for the system's initial operational capability is January 2019

3/17/2015 - U.S. ARMY GARRISON- KWAJALEIN ATOLL, Republic of the Marshall Islands -  -- Officials from the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training recently participated in a formal ground breaking ceremony on Kwajalein Atoll to kick off a 36-month long construction effort to build the Space Fence radar system. The ceremony was held, Feb. 10.

Space Fence is designed to provide assured coverage at Low Earth Orbit for objects as small as 10 centimeters. The system will also support cued searches and uncued surveillance at Medium Earth Orbit and above. The increased Space Fence sensitivity, coupled with the improved computing capabilities of the JSpOC Mission System, will yield a greater understanding of the space operating environment and its associated threats.

"The Air Force is pleased to partner with Lockheed Martin in providing a system that will transform how we view the space operational environment," said David Madden, SMC's executive director.

Space Fence will significantly improve space situational awareness by more accurately detecting and tracking objects such as commercial and military satellites and space debris.  "Space is becoming more congested and contested so it is critical that we deliver this system on time and on schedule," Madden said.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, located at Hanscon AFB, Mass. awarded the engineering, manufacturing and design contract valued at $914 million to Lockheed Martin on June 2, 2014. Lockheed Martin and their subcontractors AMEC, GDST, Merrimac Industries, Wolf Creek and San Juan Construction will be working on Kwajalein with activities ranging from power generation, communications and radome installation and facility construction.  Approximately 250 workers will live on the island during construction.

Once the construction is complete, the Air Force will conduct system acceptance testing. The projected date for the system's initial operational capability is January 2019.
« Last Edit: 03/18/2015 07:15 AM by Targeteer »
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #29 on: 03/19/2015 07:13 PM »
{snip}
Space Fence is designed to provide assured coverage at Low Earth Orbit for objects as small as 10 centimeters. {snip}

10 cm is the same size as a 1U cubesat. Does the new Space Fence need to upgrade to say 5 cm to detect cubesats that break up?

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #30 on: 03/19/2015 10:29 PM »
Huh, I thought the detection limit of the old system was 10 cm, and the new system was supposed to detect objects one tenth the size. 1 cm. Did I miss something?

Also, I thought the 10cm cube sat dimension was chosen because it was the smallest dimension that could be reliably tracked.

So help me Jim if I am wrong on those facts.
« Last Edit: 03/19/2015 10:30 PM by kevin-rf »
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline Targeteer

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #31 on: 03/24/2015 07:19 PM »
Another young, eager Air Force Lt who loves her job

Gen. John E. Hyten, Commander, Air Force Space Command, and 2nd Lt. Sophia Singer, 6th Space Warning Squadron, discuss Missile Warning and Space Surveillance conducted by Air Force Space Command, to protect the North American continent and pass timely information to national command authorities.



Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Star One

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #32 on: 10/04/2015 12:13 PM »
An update from LM on the new space fence.

Lockheed Martin’s Space Fence Program Completes Critical Design Review

Quote
MOORESTOWN, N.J., Sept. 28, 2015 – Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) Space Fence System, including the large-scale digital radar and turn-key facility were deemed technically mature and provided evidence that all requirements will be met through the program’s Critical Design Review (CDR) conducted by the U.S. Air Force.
Government representatives met with Lockheed Martin engineers in Moorestown to review the Space Fence S-band radar system design, which will detect, track, and catalog orbital objects in space more than 1.5 million times a day to predict and prevent space-based collisions. The three-day CDR was preceded by the delivery of 21,000 pages of design documents, and an eight-day Design Walkthrough, to ensure the system will meet performance requirements. The CDR event featured the demonstration of a small-scale system built with end-item components that detected and tracked orbiting space objects.
“Completion of CDR marks the end of the design phase and the start of radar production and facility construction of the Space Fence system,” says Steve Bruce, vice president for Advanced Systems at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. "Once complete, Space Fence will deliver revolutionary capability to the U.S. Air Force with a flexible system capable of adapting to future missions requiring new tracking and coverage approaches. We look forward to continuing our successful partnerships with the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Life-Cycle Management Center and Space Command.”
Within the Space Fence radar open architecture design, Lockheed Martin uses the latest monolithic microwave integrated circuit technology, including Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductor materials. GaN provides a number of significant advantages for active phased array radar systems, including higher power density, greater efficiency and significantly improved reliability over previous technologies.
Lockheed Martin has a decade of investment and significant experience in successfully developing GaN-based products.  Lockheed Martin is able to procure mature technology that is commercially available, aided by significant investment occurring in the marketplace in areas such as cell phone infrastructure and LED design. This is in alignment with the recent release of Better Buying power 3.0 and the need to leverage commercial technology where applicable to lower development costs and provide greater value for the Department of Defense.
In addition to engineering the radar arrays, the Lockheed Martin team also broke ground on the new six-acre Space Fence site earlier this year on Kwajalein Island, 2,100 miles southwest of Honolulu. The construction process is challenging due to the remoteness and cultural and historic significance of the location.  The buildings are designed to handle high winds and seismic loads, while maintaining the alignment and accuracy of the radar system.
The sensor site installation will include an on-site operations center and an annex to the current island power plant that will ensure the Space Fence system has everything necessary to provide continuous Space Situational Awareness. Once construction is complete, Space Fence will go through testing and validation before its initial operating capability occurs in late 2018.
For additional information, visit our website: www.lockheedmartin.com/spacefence.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 112,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2014 were $45.6 billion.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2015/september/150928-mst-space-fence-program-completes-critical-design-review.html

Offline Star One

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USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #33 on: 03/28/2016 06:34 PM »
Lockheed Martin opens Space Fence test site in New Jersey

Quote
WASHINGTON – Lockheed Martin has built a scaled-down version of the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation space surveillance system in New Jersey as a way to test hardware and software for the Space Fence, the company announced March 28.

http://spacenews.com/lockheed-martin-opens-space-fence-test-site-in-new-jersey/
« Last Edit: 03/28/2016 06:36 PM by Star One »

Offline Star One

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #34 on: 04/14/2016 04:05 PM »
Quote
A long-awaited update to the hardware and software system that will allow the U.S. Air Force to ingest data from its new object tracking system, known as Space Fence, will not be ready until 2018, about 19 months later than previous estimates, an Air Force spokeswoman said April 11.

The Air Force has been undergoing a broad modernization of the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC), the processing center of U.S. military space operations headquartered at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The program, known as the JSpOC Mission System (JMS), is a three-phased, $1 billion initiative to replace or upgrade the hardware and software currently used for space surveillance, collision avoidance, launch support, and providing more precise and timely orbital information. The new system replaces the legacy Space Defense Operations Center, or SPADOC, which Air Force officials say is dated and becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.

http://spacenews.com/u-s-air-force-space-tracking-software-delayed-19-months/

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #35 on: 04/14/2016 05:52 PM »
Yeah, no one say that one coming. Sarcasm mode off...

Now 19 extra months, lets see how much that places it over budget. Because we know it won't be over budget either...
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Online AncientU

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #36 on: 04/17/2016 03:27 PM »
While dodging debris is an improvement over not dodging it, is there any effort or plan or even hint of a plan to actually begin debris clean-up?  I suspect that we'll be true to form and wait until we are in the full crisis mode -- Kessler cascade has begun -- before we start a crash (no pun intended) program to fix it.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline russianhalo117

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #37 on: 04/17/2016 10:51 PM »
While dodging debris is an improvement over not dodging it, is there any effort or plan or even hint of a plan to actually begin debris clean-up?  I suspect that we'll be true to form and wait until we are in the full crisis mode -- Kessler cascade has begun -- before we start a crash (no pun intended) program to fix it.
so far just talk and endless powerPoint development but everyone is so far to scared to make the first move to actually act on the present data. The keep prodding other to make the first move but no one is budging except those that want to do ASAT testing as the contribution.

Offline Star One

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #38 on: 04/18/2016 04:14 PM »
This short article is relevant to this thread.

Quote
​Colorado Springs, Colo.—The head of Air Force Space Command would prefer to have airmen who are doing collision avoidance and orbital analysis focus on other missions, but the military must continue to operate the network for “space control,” AFSPC boss Gen. John Hyten said. The FAA and Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) both recently proposed moving space traffic management tracking from the Air Force to the Federal Aviation Administration, and Hyten said he is “good with” providing data to the FAA and having them “do the math” on collision avoidance. But, he said, the commercial sector will “never have a capability as good as the space fence,” which cost $914 million and will increase the number of objects USAF tracks in space by tenfold. So, Hyten said, there are some details to work through with the FAA to make sure it’s all done right, but “the vision is correct: We shouldn’t be doing flight safety for everybody in the world.”

http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2016/April%202016/April%2018%202016/Space-Traffic-Cops.aspx

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #39 on: 04/18/2016 06:44 PM »
Not to be a grumpy gus, sounds like an extra layer of bureaucracy that will bloat costs, with no real benefits.
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #40 on: 04/19/2016 01:45 PM »
Not to be a grumpy gus, sounds like an extra layer of bureaucracy that will bloat costs, with no real benefits.

Sounds more to me like the "vision" behind the original concept of GPS -- that it is funded by, and primarily for, use by the military, but if you twist our arms hard enough, we'll begrudge the commercial sector some degraded information out of the system.

It doesn't sound like USAF wants to release their sensor data to FAA and then let FAA tell them and the rest of the world how to maneuver their birds.  Sounds more like they want to keep doing everything they've always done, but just for their own birds.  The FAA can then get "non-military-grade" versions of the space fence data and use that to offer steering advice to the rest of the world -- maintaining that "edge" of the best data for military uses.  I mean, that follows the pattern established in any number of other military technology development programs, right?
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #41 on: 04/19/2016 03:24 PM »
Would be simpler just to task and fund USAF with the whole job. Create collision threats for the military and civilian users. 
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Online AncientU

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #42 on: 04/20/2016 01:37 AM »
While dodging debris is an improvement over not dodging it, is there any effort or plan or even hint of a plan to actually begin debris clean-up?  I suspect that we'll be true to form and wait until we are in the full crisis mode -- Kessler cascade has begun -- before we start a crash (no pun intended) program to fix it.
so far just talk and endless powerPoint development but everyone is so far to scared to make the first move to actually act on the present data. The keep prodding other to make the first move but no one is budging except those that want to do ASAT testing as the contribution.

Thanks -- bad news, though.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline Jim

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #43 on: 04/20/2016 01:44 AM »
While dodging debris is an improvement over not dodging it, is there any effort or plan or even hint of a plan to actually begin debris clean-up?

Who is going to pay for it?

Offline edkyle99

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #44 on: 04/20/2016 02:58 AM »
While dodging debris is an improvement over not dodging it, is there any effort or plan or even hint of a plan to actually begin debris clean-up?

Who is going to pay for it?
How about the same people that put it up there to begin with, which is to say, predominately, governments. 

I see it as a needed task that can be performed steadily, and I suspect affordably, over a long period of time. 

 - Ed Kyle

Online AncientU

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #45 on: 04/22/2016 02:53 AM »
While dodging debris is an improvement over not dodging it, is there any effort or plan or even hint of a plan to actually begin debris clean-up?

Who is going to pay for it?


If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash -- there would be something of a gold-rush to remove the problem debris.  A mega-centrally-planned effort (standard model National space effort) could never be funded sufficiently nor would it ever succeed in getting the job done.

So, if your question implies -- "should the USAF or NASA or ESA do it?" -- the answer is no. 
But they should pay for results and enable someone else to do it.

Access to space is in the National interest.

Or we could just ignore the problem...
« Last Edit: 04/22/2016 02:54 AM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Jim

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #46 on: 04/22/2016 02:00 PM »

If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash


Again, who is going to pay for it?  NASA, USAF or ESA isn't.  nor is Russian or China.

Offline Prettz

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #47 on: 04/22/2016 09:03 PM »
While dodging debris is an improvement over not dodging it, is there any effort or plan or even hint of a plan to actually begin debris clean-up?

Who is going to pay for it?
How about the same people that put it up there to begin with, which is to say, predominately, governments. 

I see it as a needed task that can be performed steadily, and I suspect affordably, over a long period of time. 

 - Ed Kyle
Unfortunately it'll probably work out exactly the same as with governments spending to avoid global warming: extremely little, and only after it's mostly too late.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #48 on: 04/29/2016 03:11 PM »

If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash
Again, who is going to pay for it?  NASA, USAF or ESA isn't.  nor is Russian or China.
As a theoretical idea, generate a fund by charging launchers $1M for every piece of debris they leave in an orbit with a lifetime of over 25 years.  Since boosters sometimes blow up long after launch, the launcher would either need to post a bond (to be returned after 25 years, or re-entry, whichever comes first, if no debris), or show they have insurance.  All money collected goes to fund debris mitigation.

This would have two effects.  First, launch providers would spend more time and effort to make less debris (to lower the cost of their insurance), and there would money to clean stuff up.  Over time, the $1M per piece could be adjusted to make the program break even.

Offline Hog

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #49 on: 05/01/2016 04:25 PM »
Though this idea would never "fly" if an entity wants to launch a certain amount of mass into orbit, that entity must remove the same mass of space debris from orbit.  Akin to planting a tree after harvesting a tree.
If only the policy was adopted from the very first space launch.
Paul

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #50 on: 05/01/2016 09:24 PM »
A seedling does not weigh nearly as much as a full grown tree...
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline Hog

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #51 on: 05/02/2016 02:36 PM »
A seedling does not weigh nearly as much as a full grown tree...

(laughing)That assertion is dependant upon the species of seedling vs. the species of said full grown tree.  (self moderated)

late for my daily stool softener, I'll leave one out for you on the countertop
(seriously)I was thinking more in terms of humans attempting to return an environment to its original state, after said humans have used that same environment.

« Last Edit: 05/02/2016 02:58 PM by Hog »
Paul

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #52 on: 05/05/2016 12:37 AM »
A seedling does not weigh nearly as much as a full grown tree...

(laughing)That assertion is dependant upon the species of seedling vs. the species of said full grown tree.  (self moderated)

late for my daily stool softener, I'll leave one out for you on the countertop
(seriously)I was thinking more in terms of humans attempting to return an environment to its original state, after said humans have used that same environment.

"Leave nought but footprints, take nought but memories."
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #53 on: 05/05/2016 02:00 PM »
you forgot the last line, kill nothing but time
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline mikelepage

Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #54 on: 08/22/2016 08:20 AM »

If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash


Again, who is going to pay for it?  NASA, USAF or ESA isn't.  nor is Russian or China.

Insurers/underwriters of satellites?  The less debris there is up there, the less often they have to pay out.  It's a real (and increasing) risk they have to factor into their assessments, so there should be some profit to them in cleaning up the debris.

And if you want to get really dystopian about it, any space debris removal system is also technically an anti-satellite weapon.  So imagine that some such entity goes to the cost of putting up a "clean-up crew" constellation of robots which manages to clear out a particular set of orbits of debris.  Anyone else tries to put up a bird in that orbital region without paying the toll, finds their satellite getting accidentally "cleaned up" with the rest of the debris.
« Last Edit: 08/22/2016 08:23 AM by mikelepage »

Offline high road

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #55 on: 08/22/2016 11:20 AM »

If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash


Again, who is going to pay for it?  NASA, USAF or ESA isn't.  nor is Russian or China.

Insurers/underwriters of satellites?  The less debris there is up there, the less often they have to pay out.  It's a real (and increasing) risk they have to factor into their assessments, so there should be some profit to them in cleaning up the debris.

Exactly. They have a vested interest in estimating and controlling the risk. Comparable to Swiss Re's investment in climate change research, because it'll have an impact on damage claims.

On the other hand, underwriters of insurance companies that underwrite satellites (possibly add a few steps) are bureaucratic monsters. They won't start paying for damage control until damage claims have started to increase considerably. If the technology isn't ready by that time, it'll take years more to develop it. So in the meantime, we still need government/XPrize/? support for developers, to avoid too much of a runaway effect.

And as you say, having more and more trouble to protect their military satellites, governments will be spending more on the development of debris removal systems, while being more willing to condone/usurp potential satellite-removal capabilities. Again, if the technology is ready when push comes to shove, the transition will be relatively mild.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #56 on: 08/23/2016 09:24 AM »
Anyone else tries to put up a bird in that orbital region without paying the toll, finds their satellite getting accidentally "cleaned up" with the rest of the debris.

Interfering with another nation's satellite is a direct violation of the Outer Space Treaty and I'm sure the AST (or whoever is in charge) would take a dim view on such activities for US satellites.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline mikelepage

Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #57 on: 08/23/2016 09:41 AM »
Anyone else tries to put up a bird in that orbital region without paying the toll, finds their satellite getting accidentally "cleaned up" with the rest of the debris.

Interfering with another nation's satellite is a direct violation of the Outer Space Treaty and I'm sure the AST (or whoever is in charge) would take a dim view on such activities for US satellites.

I did preface that comment with the "dystopian" caveat.  Obviously I'm talking beyond the foreseable future :P

More seriously, I do wonder if LEO might ever get so crowded that we have a situation where satellite companies buy the rights to certain orbital altitudes the same way radio/tv stations lay claim to particular radio frequencies.  I know I'm assuming circular orbits - but especially for LEO that may be the best way to pack the most satellites into a given volume.  If your company had the rights to (for example) the 600-610km zone, then you could put as many birds in that zone as you wanted, but it would also be your responsibility to ensure 99%+ of the objects in that zone were functioning satellites on not space debris, and companies could be fined or even lose the rights if they didn't keep their area clean.

Offline Jim

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #58 on: 08/23/2016 02:13 PM »

If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash


Again, who is going to pay for it?  NASA, USAF or ESA isn't.  nor is Russian or China.

Insurers/underwriters of satellites? 

Most of the debris is not from commercial spacecraft.  So no insurers/underwriters

Offline Jim

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #59 on: 08/23/2016 02:14 PM »

Exactly. They have a vested interest in estimating and controlling the risk.


Wrong.  It is cheaper to pay out once in a while vs cleaning up

Offline high road

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #60 on: 08/23/2016 05:54 PM »

Exactly. They have a vested interest in estimating and controlling the risk.


Wrong.  It is cheaper to pay out once in a while vs cleaning up

Insurance 1.0.1: that's what controlling the risk is. But they want to avoid systematic risk that would suddenly have the damage claims explode. a runaway debris effect and a solar flare are the most likely things to do so. Other than that, it would be wasteful to try to save every single sat, despite how counterintuitive that seems

Offline mikelepage

Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #61 on: 08/24/2016 02:50 PM »

If sufficient 'bounty' was placed on every de-orbited chunk of junk -- using space junk creating and/or space using nations' cash


Again, who is going to pay for it?  NASA, USAF or ESA isn't.  nor is Russian or China.

Insurers/underwriters of satellites? 

Most of the debris is not from commercial spacecraft.  So no insurers/underwriters

So you're saying that insurers don't insure against being hit by someone else's space debris?

Offline Star One

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #62 on: 09/23/2016 05:46 PM »
More satellite collision warnings to come with Space Fence data

Quote
MAUI, Hawaii – A senior Pentagon official said the U.S. Air Force will need to rethink how it issues satellite collision warnings when a new space object tracking system goes online or risk overwhelming satellite operators and hardware systems with overly cautious alerts.

In 2018, the Air Force’s next-generation space object tracking system, known as the Space Fence, will go online and detect satellites and space debris 5 centimeters and larger. Defense Department officials said they are optimistic that on the best days, the $900 million Space Fence, built by Lockheed Martin on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, may be able to track objects as small as 1 centimeter. That’s a marked improvement over the Defense Department’s current network of radars and sensors, which tracks objects 10 centimeters and larger.

But that additional precision means the Air Force will have tracking data for 200,000 objects, up from the approximately 20,000 objects it tracks today.

http://spacenews.com/more-satellite-collision-warnings-to-come-with-space-fence-data/

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #63 on: 02/27/2017 02:58 PM »
Interesting, looks like Space Fence has a commercial competitor willing to fill in the gap for less cost.

Paywall, but article is free if you register.
http://aviationweek.com/space/airbus-invests-orbital-debris-tracking-startup-leolabs

So 150x50 foot (45m x 15m) phased array, aiming for multiple locations capable of seeing and tracking objects down to 4"

« Last Edit: 02/27/2017 03:58 PM by kevin-rf »
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: USAF seeks space debris defense
« Reply #64 on: 02/27/2017 03:03 PM »
LeoLabs website: http://www.leolabs.space/
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

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