DARPA yesterday handed over the Space Surveillance Telescope (SST)—the most sophisticated instrument of its kind ever developed—to U.S. Air Force Space Command at a mountaintop ceremony in New Mexico. The event marked the formal transition of SST from an Agency-led design and construction program to ownership and operation by the Air Force, which has announced plans to operate the telescope in Australia jointly with the Australian government.
SST embodies breakthroughs in telescope design, camera technology, and image analysis software and enables much faster discovery and tracking of previously unseen or hard-to-find small space objects. This optical telescope is poised to revolutionize space situational awareness and help prevent potential collisions with satellites or the Earth itself.
The event featured numerous senior DARPA, U.S. Air Force, and Royal Australian Air Force guest speakers, each of whom shared their perspectives on SST’s progress and the potential contributions it could make to national security. Excerpts from the speakers follow, in order of presentation:
Image Caption: DARPA yesterday handed over the Space Surveillance Telescope (SST)—the most sophisticated instrument of its kind ever developed—to U.S. Air Force Space Command at a mountaintop ceremony in New Mexico. Click below for high-resolution image.
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