Space Force Space Surveillance Telescope online

            This week I found an article about the Space Surveillance Telescope (SST).  SST is  a DARPA/MIT developed satellite that can track space debris in “regions above Geosynchronous orbit (up to 22,000 miles)”[1].  The satellite was initial built and deployed on the Los Alamos range in New Mexico but was moved as part of an agreement between the US and Australia in 2013. 

            Why is this important to security?  Because it fills a surveillance time gap.  This agreement moves a powerful satellite that is responsible for tracking objects in space (junk, satellites, the Hilton planned for 2027) in to a position to provide better coverage for the Space Force.  Having control stations in both the southern and northern hemisphere allows for continuous coverage and no gaps.  With no gaps or at least smaller gaps in detection time, Space Force can have real-time detection and monitoring capabilities in space.  This will help improve Space Domain Awareness and allow “The space force to track thousands of objects, including debris and active satellites” [1].  As more and more satellites are placed into orbit the SDA issue will become a bigger issue as it is expected that up to “58,000 satellites could be added to orbit over the next decade; a large increase from the 5,000 currently in orbit or the 1,400 in 2015” [1].  

[1] C. Albon, “Space Force surveillance telescope now operational in Australia,” Sep. 30, 2022. (accessed Oct. 05, 2022).