This article was originally published on November 11, 2012.
SpaceView is a part of DARPA’s Orbital Outlook program to improve the space surveillance. NASA estimates more than 500,000 orbiting space debris that are extremely hazardous to active satellites.
Space Surveillance Network (SSN) is created by U.S Air force is to identify and track artificial objects orbiting the earth. The existing space situational awareness (SSA) sensors are large and expensive. This restricts the surveillance network to only 29 sensors worldwide.
The SpaceView program is initiated to provide more data to space surveillance network with the help of U.S amateur astronomers. As a part of program, selected astronomers will be allowed to access in-use telescopes or will be provided telescopes.
SpaceView provides the required hardware and software at the sides provided by the amateur astronomers. This highly reduces the operational costs, need for paid employees and deployment costs.
Tracking and identifying these space debris will provide more information to safeguard more than 1200 active satellites and International Space Station.
GEOST, inc., a research firm in Tucson, Arizona is developing the SpaceView network. SpaceView is currently looking for amateur sky observers for theprogram. You can sign up here.