Skip to comments.U.S. Air Force Studying Wider Use of MDA Radars for Space Tracking
Posted on 11/01/2009 1:44:45 AM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
The U.S. Air Force has hired Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems to study the possibility of integrating additional Missile Defense Agency (MDA) sensors into the U.S. Space Surveillance Network that tracks orbiting satellites, a Raytheon official said Oct. 28.
The Tewksbury, Mass.-based company was awarded a $3 million contract from Air Force Space Command for a program called the Enterprise Sensing Prototype Architecture for Space Situational Awareness (ESP-SSA), Joe Chapa, Raytheons technical director for national theater security programs, said in an interview.
The Air Forces Space Surveillance Network employs a host of optical telescopes and radars around the world. The telescopes can peer deep into space to keep tabs on satellites in geosynchronous orbit, and the radars are used to track objects orbiting closer to Earth.
But the Air Force network has blind spots, particularly in the southern hemisphere, where it cannot track satellites. The MDA, meanwhile, has a network of radars around the world that can track ballistic missiles as they pass through space, but most of these are not being used to keep an eye on satellites.
Raytheon came to the Air Force with an unsolicited proposal to create an open command and control architecture that would allow the service to task missile defense radars for the space situational awareness mission, Chapa said.
The problem we are looking at is, if we build these very large and expensive sensors, why cant we use them for multiple purposes? Chapa said. Its because the missile defense radar is connected to the missile defense command and control node. What we are developing is a conceptual architecture for tying all these sensors together into a single enterprise.
(Excerpt) Read more at spacenews.com ...
Hmmm...tracking space invaders, maybe?
I think that this is a knee-jerk response to the Indonesian asteroid story from a week or two ago.
“Asteroid exploded over Indonesia with force of three Hiroshimas.”