Author Topic: Darpa Wants Sensors To Find Low-Orbiting Debris  (Read 551 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
Darpa Wants Sensors To Find Low-Orbiting Debris
« on: December 17, 2013, 12:03:20 AM »
By Graham Warwick

In a bid to boost the ability to track orbital debris that could endanger satellites, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is seeking methods for the uncued detection of objects in low-inclined low Earth orbit (LILO).

The LILO project is part of Darpa’s OrbitOutlook (O2) program to bolster the U.S. Space Surveillance Network (SSN) with new sensor, database and validation capabilities. The SSN is tasked with observing and tracking space objects.

Low-inclined LEO objects are defined as those orbiting at an altitude of less than 1,000 km and an orbital inclination of 0±20-deg. (prograde, or orbiting with the rotation of the Earth) or 180±20-deg. (retrograde), Darpa says in a new solicitation.

The agency is seeking proposals for new or modified sensors that can be deployed within 12 months of contract award. They are to be capable of detecting objects 10 cm or larger at 1,000 km, without prior knowledge of their location or trajectory, with an astrometric precision of better than 6 arcsec. and a timing accuracy of less than 10 millisec.

The LILO system is required to provide at least three independent detections of an obit within a 10-min. window. Darpa says solutions may include passive optical or radio-frequency sensors or active radar, but says it is not interested in systems that use active illumination.

A goal of the LILO project is to demonstrate the ability to integrate new or modified sensors rapidly to supplement the SSN. The schedule calls for performers to deliver observation data to Darpa within 12 months of contract award, and ideally within six months.

The 12-month first phase is planned to begin in the third quarter of 2014 and include a technical demonstration period of up to three months. Darpa will have to option to buy data collected during a follow-on 12-month operational phase.

Online EC

  • Shanghaied Editor
  • Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,679
  • Silence is Golden. Boredom is even better.
Re: Darpa Wants Sensors To Find Low-Orbiting Debris
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 06:23:16 AM »

It is needed, badly. We're pretty messy, as a species.
Before you bitch about the youth of today ... think about who raised them.

Avatar thanks to Oceander.

I've got a website now: Smoke and Ink

Offline Oceander

  • Technical
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 41,171
  • SMOD 2016
Re: Darpa Wants Sensors To Find Low-Orbiting Debris
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2013, 11:09:28 AM »

It is needed, badly. We're pretty messy, as a species.

True enough, but in this case it's very difficult to avoid the mess they're worried about.  Even someone who qualified as a neat freak down here on terra firma would probably still drop enough stuff here and there to make a mess out of orbit.  10cm is about 4 inches or thereabouts, which is about the size of a largish bolt.  Spotting a 4 inch long bolt at 1,000 km without knowing beforehand where it is would be quite a feat.
I won't vote for Clinton, but I cannot vote for Trump.  How could I explain to my daughter why I supported a man who sees her as nothing more than a piece of meat, a piece of a$$ for him to grope for his own private pleasure.

"Trump supporter" - the very definition of an SFI


  • Guest
Re: Darpa Wants Sensors To Find Low-Orbiting Debris
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2013, 09:48:48 PM »
I think it will be used for an ulterior motive. Such detection of missile launches or ASAT capability by China. After all, this a DARPA project
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 09:49:30 PM by SPQR »

Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo