Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) new ground based Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) is to be placed in Australia to track orbital space objects over that region.
DARPA has made an agreement with Australia’s Department of Defense to move and intall the 180,000 lb three mirror Mersenne-Schmidt telescope. U.S and DARPA planned to work towards improving space situational awareness.
Space Surveillance Telescope was developed to detect objects at deep space altitudes associated with geosynchronous orbits. Space Surveillance Telescope is capable of searching a vast area in space within few seconds.
SST uses a highly polished mirror and can even detect a small objects of lower diameters. With all these features, SST is suitably designed for deep space surveillance.
SST will provide the data to Space Surveillance Network (SSN), an U.S Airforce program on identifying potential threats to satellites and International Space Station. As we mentioned in our previous article, SSN is an worldwide network of 29 space surveillance sensors like radar, optical telescopes including military and civilian.
According to the press release, DARPA and Australia will continue to provide deep space surveillance data to NASA for small asteroid detection and to the scientific community.