In the latest installment of DARPA’s new podcast series, Voices from DARPA, Lindsay Millard discusses the Agency’s Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) program, a key component in the nation’s ability to detect and track space debris and other objects to determine if they will collide with orbiting satellites or impact the Earth.
The podcast’s release comes as DARPA is set to hand over the keys for this revolutionary optical telescope to Air Force Space Command, in a ceremony to be held on the facility’s mountaintop perch in New Mexico on October 18.
SST will enable much faster discovery and tracking of faint objects in a vast volume of space up to and including geostationary orbit, about 22,000 miles above the planet’s surface—a volume of space that Millard says is equivalent to “tens of thousands of oceans.” SST’s wide-open eye on the sky promises to become the most prolific tool ever for observing near-Earth objects and potentially harmful asteroids. The Air Force and Australian Government have announced plans to move SST to Australia and operate it jointly. From its new home, SST will provide key space situational awareness information from the southern hemisphere—an area of the geosynchronous belt that is currently sparsely observed.
Reporters wishing to cover DARPA’s SST program and the telescope’s transition next week to Air Force Space Command should contact DARPA Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Voices from DARPA podcast series is based on the truism that technology is a driver of our times. Since its founding in 1958 in the midst of the Cold War, DARPA has been a driver of technology—and it’s the Agency’s program managers who are in the drivers’ seats. In each episode, a program manager from one of the Agency’s six technical offices—Biological Technologies, Defense Sciences, Information Innovation, Microsystems Technology, Strategic Technology, and Tactical Technology—discusses in informal and personal terms why they are at DARPA and the breakthrough technologies for national security that they are striving to create.
Voices from DARPA can be accessed via BluBrry, YouTube, and iTunes.
Image Caption: DARPA’s Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) is helping ensure the safety and operation of satellites by developing and combining many technological firsts that are redefining what telescopes can do. Click below for high-resolution image.
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