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« : 04 Апрель 2008, 00:28:25 »

Программа "Авиатор" брала интервью у Агапова (возможно даже про нашу сеть будет пара слов) и у Иванова (начальник ЦУП ЦНИИМАШ) - готовят передачу про космический мусор, в предверии 12 апреля
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« Ответ #16 : 26 Август 2008, 23:53:01 »

http://www.noto.ira.inaf.it/

http://www.noto.ira.inaf.it/dbbc/radar.html

RadarVLBI Observational Project

Involved IRA scientists, technicians and collaborators: G. Tuccari, S. Buttaccio, I. Molotov, M. Nechaeva, G. Nicotra

Space debris (SD) is a new threat in the near-Earth space environment, and is a direct consequence of human activity in space. The current SD population (about 13,000  traceable objects and many more objects invisible from the Earth surface) represents a serious danger not only for manned orbital stations, rockets and operational satellites, but even for human life  and Earth  ecology. The monitoring project involves a European collaboration that was started under INTAS 2001-0669 with the NIS (New Independent States) radio telescope with systematic observational campaigns performed in one or more yearly sessions. Data products elaborated for SD research is the common denominator of Centers on collection, processing and analysis of space debris information of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Pulkovo cooperation of optical observers; VLBI radar sub-system of LFVN; LAPLACE analytical motion theory with model of explosions with optical and radar facilities to fulfill the multifaceted research about the status of pollution of GEO (Geostationary Earth Orbit), GTO (Geostationary Transition Orbit) and LEO (Low Earth Orbit) with small SD fragments. The project includes several participating teams from six European countries, which have a long experience in the study of space debris, have access to suitable observing facilities, and have already developed mutual collaborations.

The project uses a network of many optical telescopes placed from Siberia to Bolivia with aperture ranging from 0.6-m to 2.6-m, among them there is the unique Ukrainian radar RT-70 in Evpatoria. The project  uses also the VLBI network of radio telescopes in Ukraine, Italy, Russia, China and Latvia (LFVN).

Faint SD objects at GEO and GTO are discovered using optical telescopes with large FOV (Field Of View)  and then tracked with narrow FOV facilities. The follow-up photometry, spectroscopic, polarimetric, infrared and radar observations are arranged to clear up the material composition of fragments and their attitude motion. The area to search for SD fragments is specified with the help of the LAPLACE long-term analytical motion theory using models of GEO-object explosions. Another project activity is related to the statistical search of small-sized SD fraction at LEO using both optical and radar facilities. Such a kind of measurements will be improved with Irkutsk ionosphere radar,  and with the bi-static radar system Evpatoria RT-70 => Bear Lakes RT-64. 

The preliminary analysis of the SD data is performed from the point of view of the solution of applied and fundamental problems. The results of the Project find their applications in scientific, technical, educational, social and economic fields. It will allow us to decrease the risk of SD collisions with operational satellites, to verify the existing spacecraft protection shields, to adjust the SD distribution models, to elaborate new mitigation measures to preserve the GEO region. The  SD catalogue may be used for many studies. For instance, it is used to improve the Earth gravity model and the orbital object motion theories, including the influence of the solar radiation pressure, and to analyze the upper layers Earth atmosphere density and the Earth’s magnetic field.

The Noto research team developed a VLBI acquistion and recording system well suited for RadarVLBI observations. Today many of these terminals are used at the radio telescopes belonging to the international RadarVLBI network.
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« Ответ #17 : 27 Август 2008, 08:35:52 »

Andrea. Привет! Да вчера возил! Понравилось очень! Провел можно сказать целую экскурсию! Были до 4 утра! Очень им хотелось луну увидеть! Вобщем не удалось поработать! Газетчики подготовят статью, сообщат, и дело будет в цензоре, от администрации, который должен дать добро на публикацию!

исходное сообщение
Тема:   Как дела?
От:     Игорь
Дата:           27.08.2008 10.14

Андрей, привет!
Как дела? Свозил корреспондентов в обсерваторию? Им понравилось?
Пока,
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« Ответ #18 : 03 Сентябрь 2008, 06:24:22 »

Andrea. Привет Игорь! Сегодня звонили с газеты. Им понравилась статья с сайта "Телескоп для самой восточной обсерватории России". Ну спрашивают может ее лучше, понравилась она им! Я текст толком не помню. Сказал почитаю и ответ дам. Они уже готовы опубликовать!
http://lfvn.astronomer.ru/news/2008/08/0001/index.htm
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« Ответ #19 : 13 Сентябрь 2008, 01:41:10 »

http://space.newscientist.com/article/mg19926736.000-space-traffic-control-needed-in-junkfilled-orbits-.html

'Space traffic control' needed in junk-filled orbits
12 September 2008
NewScientist.com news service
David Robson

ON 11 January 2007, the People's Liberation Army destroyed an ailing Chinese weather satellite with a ballistic missile. The spacecraft was blown to smithereens, ejecting thousands of shards of debris into space. Since then the junk has been spreading out in mid and low-Earth orbits, a hazard to the ever-growing numbers of spacecraft plying those orbits.

No one knows why this cosmic vandalism took place because Beijing has remained tight-lipped on the issue: old satellites are normally brought down safely over the broad expanse of the Pacific Ocean, or else parked in a graveyard orbit, deeper in space, expending the last of their fuel to get there. But the incident throws into sharp relief what happens when just one spacecraft breaks up. "It creates a cloud of debris composed of thousands of small fragments," says Richard DalBello of Intelsat, a satellite operator in Bethesda, Maryland.

With the era of mass space tourism approaching, and more satellites being launched into the heavens, for global positioning, telecommunications and Earth monitoring, for example, the worry is that spacecraft will collide with the debris from old satellites, rocket stages and the like, potentially risking lives and serious damage to multimillion-dollar space vehicles.

Right now, spacecraft follow a carefully synchronised dance in orbit, using signals from ground controllers, who track known debris, to dodge any hypersonic junk. For instance, just two weeks ago the International Space Station had to be shifted to avoid debris.

But the sheer volume of stuff in orbit will soon make it difficult to manoeuvre spacecraft without risking an accident. "We do not have clear rules of the road," admits Vladimir Agapov of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. "Close and sometimes dangerous operations are now common in some orbits."
Action is being taken, however. Space agencies and satellite operators are getting together to try to establish a space traffic control system to ensure spacecraft are safe. And some want to go further still, using robots to retrieve space junk and take it out of orbit.

It's not hard to see why they are concerned. There are around 900 active satellites in Earth orbit, and with 10,000 pieces of space junk longer than 10 centimetres, travelling at around 22,000 kilometres per hour, one false move could prove catastrophic. Even a 1-centimetre piece is capable of doing serious damage, depressurising a spacecraft, say.

Incidents involving space debris have a long history. In September 1991, a space shuttle mission was interrupted to allow the shuttle Discovery to avoid debris from a decaying Soviet-era satellite. The first recorded orbital collision happened in July 1996 between a discarded Ariane rocket stage and Cerise, a French spy satellite. It damaged the satellite's stabilisation system and sent it tumbling, though it recovered. And it's not just spacecraft that are at risk: in March 2007, an Airbus A340 jet airliner with 270 people on board narrowly missed a shower of flaming, supersonic satellite debris west of Auckland, New Zealand. The satellite's impending descent was known - and airlines had been warned - but it came down half a day early.

Currently, space operators like Intelsat get a rough fix on the trajectory of debris and craft from the US air force, which provides radar data on spacecraft trajectories. The operators then contact each other to arrange avoidance manoeuvres.

"It's a complicated ballet between operators," DalBello says. "In the future there will be more space activity, so now is the time to consider what we need to do."

A limiting factor, says Luca Del Monte of the European Space Agency, is that we don't know how accurate the air force radar data is, because the Pentagon does not want its adversaries to know how precisely it can track spacecraft by giving that information away. To be sure you're tracking craft accurately, says DalBello, the world's space operators need vastly improved space traffic control - along the lines of the existing air traffic control. And that's precisely what the operators of 100 different satellites are testing right now in an early version of a putative space traffic control service in Colorado Springs.

This involves setting up a global database containing accurate details on the position and trajectory of every spacecraft. To get those positions, operators measure how long it takes for signals to travel between their satellites and ground stations, to establish their precise position. Since operators are in constant communication with the satellites they own they can update that information every second. However, it's only active satellite positions they know with great accuracy: the operators will have to make do with the air force's data on space junk for the foreseeable future.

Aircraft meet spacecraft

But as that Airbus crew found last year, the dangers of space debris are not limited to Earth orbit. As more craft are launched and re-enter the atmosphere, aircraft will more frequently be in the proximity of spacecraft. In the US, space tourism operators won't be able to launch without the say-so of the Federal Aviation Administration, which will keep air traffic away from the area. "With more commercial satellite launches and space tourism, we need a more efficient way of maintaining safety," says Daniel Murray, an air traffic specialist at the FAA in Washington DC.

He hopes that providing pilots with more detailed data on the location of spacecraft should help prevent accidents without harming airline schedules by totally isolating launch areas.

The FAA has also used debris distribution data from the 2003 Columbia shuttle disaster, in which all seven astronauts died, to simulate how a disintegrating spacecraft might threaten aircraft below it. It combines that with real-time weather forecasts, to predict how far the wind would carry the different debris pieces - allowing them to warn pilots of any dangers in their area.

But monitoring objects in space is only part of the answer. Some simulations suggest that we may already be past a critical limit: even if no more craft are sent into orbit, by 2055, the rate at which debris is released by collisions between dead satellites could well be greater than the rate at which debris is removed from orbit by natural means, including atmospheric drag or solar radiation pressure.

So Nicholas Johnson and colleagues at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, are investigating other ways of removing the debris. In a paper to be published in the journal Acta Astronautica, they suggest methods such as increasing the drag on objects near the Earth's atmosphere, so they will burn up more quickly, or employing robotic garbage collectors. They showed that the removal of just five space objects per year, from 2020, would halve the build-up of debris over 200 years. But robots would be an expensive option.

What's certain is that space agencies can no longer ignore the debris issue, says Agapov. "The risks of collisions resulting in the destruction of spacecraft could create clouds of new debris objects - which in turn raise the probability of new collisions. That could cause the number of space debris objects to increase in a chain reaction," he warns.
 
From issue 2673 of New Scientist magazine, 12 September 2008, page 24-25
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« Ответ #20 : 28 Октябрь 2008, 01:06:33 »

А за последние пять лет Пулковская обсерватория и вовсе объединила совместными проектами, казалось, потерянные с развалом страны астрономические базы и обсерватории в Таджикистане, Грузии, Туркмении, Узбекистане (на горе Майданак — уникальный астроклимат). На всех этих объектах установлены и продолжают устанавливаться наборы пулковских телескопов для синхронных наблюдений за Солнцем и другими объектами Вселенной.

http://www.ogoniok.com/4979/16/
Звездочеты, на выход!
Пулковская обсерватория — старейшая в России
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« Ответ #21 : 28 Октябрь 2008, 17:49:46 »

Вот, нашел из старого:

http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/16632/telescope_and_radar_network_needed_to_protect_satellites__russian/

Posted on: Sunday, 17 August 2003, 06:00 CDT

Telescope and radar network needed to protect satellites - Russian expert

Text of report in English by Russian news agency Interfax

Moscow, 17 August: Russian researchers have proposed establishing a Trans-European monitoring system to prevent satellite collisions with asteroids and space garbage.

"Over 200,000 objects in space that could be described as space garbage are in near-Earth orbits. Asteroids are also dangerous. A network of telescopes and radars needs to be created to monitor and tackle these problems," Igor Molotov, an expert form the Russian Academy of Sciences' Pulkovo Observatory, has told Interfax.

"The equipment available in Europe is not sufficient. Therefore, a new project involving Europe's means of surveillance and optical facilities and radars in former Soviet republics has been launched," he said.

"The new system will be able to warn of small pieces of space garbage and monitor them round-the-clock in any weather conditions. There are telescopes and radars located from Spain to the Far East and covering several time zones," Molotov said.

"The system will be capable of finding new asteroids, measuring their orbits and determining their physical properties, which will help make long-term forecasts on dangerous collisions in space and evaluate the consequences of possible collisions," he said.
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« Ответ #22 : 03 Декабрь 2008, 10:50:25 »

http://www.space.com/news/081202-miitary-satellite-drift.html

Russians Track Troubled U.S. Spy Satellite
By Leonard David
SPACE.com's Space Insider Columnist
posted: 02 December 2008
06:29 pm ET

Even in the vacuum of outer space, it's hard to keep the sound of a secret quiet.

The U.S. Air Force apparently has a malfunctioning Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite on its hands. DSP-23 is one piece of a constellation of such Earth-staring satellites designed to detect missile launchings, nuclear detonations, and gather other technical intelligence.

DSP-23 seems to be drifting out of its high-altitude slot -- and might prove troublesome to other high-value satellites in that populated area.

One person that flagged the problem to a U.S. satellite tracking expert was a Russian space analyst -- a project partner of the International Space Observation Network, or ISON for short.

Vladimir Agapov is a senior scientist for the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He told SPACE.com that ISON is a global network of scientific optical facilities for observation of high altitude geocentric orbits. They keep an eye on what's going on in order to better understand the real population of artificial objects -- mainly space debris -- in that part of near-Earth space.

Passive object

Agapov said ISON is monitoring the whole GEO [Geostationary Earth Orbit] ring, with the network tracking all operational satellites, as well as space debris objects, spent rocket bodies, dead spacecraft, operational fragments, and objects originating from satellite fragmentations that have appeared in GEO region.

"We have continuously tracked an object we have identified as DSP F23 since January 10, 2008," Agapov said. "Identification is made on the base of initial orbital information obtained by amateur astronomers using their own measurements," he said.

Processing of optical measurements obtained by ISON confirmed that DSP-23, after making three station-keeping maneuvers, has not performed any follow-on movements, even tiny, during the course of some two months, he said.

The spacecraft has strayed from its spot in space – moving along GEO as a passive object.

Still, it's not clear from optical data alone just what the operational status of the satellite truly is at present, Agapov added. "You need other kind of observations, radio-monitoring data, photometry, etc., to come to more definitive conclusion."

Asked about the possibility of DSP-23 smacking into others satellites in GEO, "it
exists," Agapov said. Sauntering willy-nilly through space, the classified satellite could have close-encounters with many operational satellites, he said.

Unknown objects

As of the beginning of 2008 the ISON network consists of 18 scientific institutions in various nations, 18 observatories and observation facilities, 25 optical instruments, and more than 50 observers and researchers.

In the big picture, Agapov noted that ISON has discovered 152 "unknown" objects that have no public orbital information as distributed by the U.S. Air Force Space Surveillance Network through its Space-Track database.

In addition, ISON has discovered and established continuous tracking -- using a variety of instruments -- of 192 previously unknown faint GEO space debris objects.

"Thus, our ISON effort resulted in  increasing  the number  of known -- for the public -- and continuously tracked objects in GEO region by more than 35 percent, compared to published Space-Track data," Agapov concluded.
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« Ответ #23 : 04 Декабрь 2008, 23:57:16 »

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/feedarticle/8111903

U.S. satellite failure revives tracking concerns

By Andrea Shalal-Esa
WASHINGTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) - The failure of a Northrop Grumman Corp missile-tracking satellite has sparked concerns that Washington's longstanding refusal to disclose the location of classified spacecraft -- even if they are dead -- could boost the risk of disastrous collisions in space.
The newest Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite, DSP 23, launched in November 2007 but halted communications in mid-September. Efforts to resume contact have failed, and the satellite has been drifting in its geosynchronous orbit above the Earth's equator, as Reuters first reported on Nov. 24.

Vladimir Agapov, a senior scientist with the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics at the Russian Academy of Sciences, said careful observations showed that DSP 23 was moving along in GEO "as an absolutely passive object." Agapov works with the International Space Observation Network (ISON), which uses a worldwide network of 18 scientific optical facilities to track objects in space. It was the second U.S. government satellite to fail within a year. The U.S. military in February shot apart a smaller satellite built by Lockheed Martin Corp, which died seconds after reaching its much lower orbit in December 2006. Since the DSP satellite's apparent failure, it has drifted past three others, including a European weather satellite, at a distance of about 4 km to 26 km (2.5 miles to 16.2 miles), said a senior U.S. space analyst who asked not to be named. More "approaches" are likely at three orbital locations in the next two months. "How close each approach actually is depends a lot on the quality of the data, most of which is provided by Air Force Space Command," said the analyst. "We've seen large errors in this data, as a result of how it is collected and processed."
The Air Force has declined comment on the DSP satellite.

Theresa Hitchens at the private Center for Defense Information said she was baffled why the United States did not list the coordinates of the dead DSP satellite in its Space Surveillance Network catalog, as it did with other non-spy satellites, especially since even amateur astronomers with 8-inch telescopes and radio operators are already tracking it. "Then other operators in GEO could decide for themselves what might constitute a 'risk of collision' rather than waiting for the Air Force to provide a warning," Hitchens said.

Russia and other nations track objects in geosynchronous orbit, but exact data would be far better, she said. The increasingly congested orbit is home to communications, weather, broadcast and missile-tracking satellites. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that there are 898 active satellites, including 371 or 40 percent in geosynchronous orbit. Most are commercial, and their locations are known.
The International Space Observation Network has discovered 152 "unknown" objects, likely including classified U.S. satellites, that have no public orbital information in the U.S. catalog. It also has tracked 192 previously unknown faint space debris objects in geosynchronous orbit, Agapov said. "I appreciate that this is a sensitive matter, but space is becoming increasingly crowded and international, and one has to be a good neighbor to keep things running smoothly up there," said Laura Grego, with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Scientists agree the risk of an actual collision is not great, given the huge area of the orbit, but say the chances increase with each dead satellite and piece of debris floating along the same path as the operational satellites. All geosynchronous satellites are traveling in the same ring, at a prescribed distance of at least two degrees apart. They occasionally come closer together, which requires minor adjustments to avert a collision. A dead satellite increases the risk of a collision since it can no longer be controlled. "If you don't know where that dead satellite is, how are you going to get out of its way?" Hitchens said.
Operators generally use a small reserve of fuel to boost dying satellites into a so-called graveyard orbit and out of the increasingly congested geosynchronous orbit, said one U.S. defense official, who asked not to be named. But that is not an option with DSP 23. The satellite is still loaded with lots of fuel but no longer responds to commands. "There's no practical way at the moment to adjust the orbits of dead objects," said the official.
The U.S. government did not plan to disclose publicly the location of the dead satellite, the official said, but would give satellite operators "the minimal necessary information" to avoid a collision if the dead DSP appeared to be in its path.

Some U.S. officials fear that greater openness could jeopardize national security. Recently, the Air Force declined to give Intelsat its estimate for how close a pending approach with a Russian satellite would be, the space analyst said. The U.S. analyst also cited a case in which separate reports of the position of an Astra satellite by its operator and the Air Force were "many thousands of kilometers off." "We currently have a dangerous situation in geosynchronous (orbit), where many operators work independently, assuming they have good enough data to protect their investments and avoid a serious mishap which could spread debris around the entire ... belt," said T.S. Kelso, with the Center for Space Standards & Innovation, a research arm of Analytical Graphics Inc. Marco Caceres, with the Virginia-based Teal Group, said a collision was unlikely, but the failure of the newest DSP satellite increased pressure on the Air Force to speed up work on the successor Space Based Infrared System, a Lockheed project that continues to suffer from technical problems, which have driven up costs and delayed its scheduled launch. (Editing by Matthew Lewis)
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« Ответ #24 : 12 Декабрь 2008, 21:06:22 »

В развитие двух предыдущих заметок - нас здесь упоминают вместе с американской системой контроля  Веселый.

http://www.space.com/spacenews/spacenews_summary.html

U.S. DSP-23 SATELLITE DRIFTS NEAR VICINITY OF OTHER CRAFT

By PETER B. de SELDING
Space News Staff Writer

PARIS — Europe's Eumetsat weather satellite organization, whose Meteosat-8 satellite is believed to be in the vicinity of a U.S. missile warning satellite drifting uncontrolled along the geostationary arc over the equator, has received no indication from the U.S. Air Force that there is a risk of a collision, Eumetsat Operations Director Mikael Rattenborg said Dec. 5.

Rattenborg said Darmstadt, Germany-based Eumetsat in the past has received Air Force advisories regarding other Defense Support Program (DSP) missile warning satellites whose path has taken them near Eumetsat spacecraft. He said that while Eumetsat is monitoring events related to the DSP-23 satellite, it is not overly concerned about Meteosat-8 because it trusts the Air Force to advise Eumetsat if DSP-23 is on a trajectory that would require Eumetsat to raise or lower its orbit to avoid a collision.

"The normal arrangement [with the U.S. Air Force] is that we keep them informed as to the whereabouts of our satellites," Rattenborg said in an interview. "They don't tell us where their satellites are. In the past, they have told us when DSP satellites are moving close to us. In this particular case, we have not been informed by them of any issues."

The Northrop Grumman-built DSP-23 missile warning satellite launched in November 2007 is believed to have failed and to be drifting in geostationary orbit, an arc about 36,000 kilometers in altitude above the equator where most telecommunications satellites and many weather satellites also are stationed.

The U.S. Air Force has declined to answer any questions regarding the health or location of DSP-23 or any potential threat it poses to other satellites.

Most satellite operators learn about what is going on in orbit from the U.S. Air Force's Space Surveillance Network of ground-based sensors that track objects in Earth orbit. The network regularly publishes data about the location of satellites and orbital debris, and it sends warnings to satellite owners if, according to the network's orbital trajectory calculations, an object is on a path to hit an operational satellite. Many U.S. military satellites, including the DSP series, are not referenced in the U.S. Space Surveillance Network catalog.

An independent analysis performed using data provided by the Russian Academy of Science's International Space Observation Network shows the satellite believed to be DSP-23 has passed by three satellites since its failure: Eurobird 9 at a distance of 4.4 kilometers, Meteosat-8 at a distance of 9.9 kilometers and Eutelsat W1 at a distance of 25.7 kilometers. The analysis shows DSP-23 in the next two months will pass by three Eutelsat satellites, Italian military communications satellite Sicral-1 and Russian reconnaissance satellite Cosmos 2379.

Vanessa O'Connor, a spokeswoman for Paris-based Eutelsat, said Dec. 5 that the company would not comment on the DSP-23 situation.

It is a relatively straightforward exercise for an operator of a geostationary satellite to raise or lower the satellite to avoid a possible collision, even with only a minimum advance warning. The satellite is then returned to its normal operating position. But the maneuver uses fuel and thereby can reduce a satellite's in-orbit service life.

Staff writer Turner Brinton contributed to this story from Washington 
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« Ответ #25 : 14 Январь 2009, 00:43:29 »


http://www.point.ru/daily/2008/12/03/18549  03.12.2008
http://www.astronomy.tomsk.ru/?menu=news&task=show&tema=3&id=1505  2008-12-04

О поломке спутника-шпиона американцы узнали от российских ученых

Американский спутник-шпион DSP-23 сломался и теперь представляет опасность для других дорогостоящих спутников, находящихся в этом же районе околоземной орбиты. Примечательно, что американские военные узнали о поломке от одного из российских ученых, сотрудничающий с проектом "Международная научная оптическая сеть наблюдений за околоземным космическим пространством", или НСОИ АФН.

Как рассказал порталу SPACE.com Владимир Агапов, ведущий ученый из Института прикладной математики им М.В. Келдыша РАН, НСОИ полностью отслеживает геостационарную орбиту, а ее сеть наблюдает за всеми находящимися там спутниками, космическим мусором, отработанными ступенями ракет, неработающими космическими аппаратами и всевозможными обломками.

"Мы последовательно отслеживаем объект, который был опознан, как спутник DSP F23 начиная с 10 января 2008 года, - рассказал Агапов. - Идентификация была сделана на основе изначальной информации об орбите спутника, полученной от астрономов-любителей, которые использовали свои собственные измерения".

Обработка полученных сведений дала возможность утверждать, что спутник DSP-23 после трех серий маневров,призванных поддержать его на заданной орбите, не осуществлял каких-либо движений уже на протяжении двух месяцев. В итоге космический аппарат сместился со своей орбиты и теперь движется, как пассивный объект.

Американские военные имеют целую сеть спутников, аналогичных вышедшему из строя DSP-23, которые предназначены для обнаружения ракетных запусков, ядерных взрывов и сбора различной информации технического характера.

Тем не менее, по словам Агапова, на одних лишь данных оптических наблюдений нельзя сделать окончательный вывод о выходе спутника из строя. "Для этого требуются результаты других видов наблюдений, как то данные радио-мониторинга, фотометрии и другие", - говорит ученый.

Однако главной опасностью, которую несет спутник DSP-23 заключается в том, что нельзя исключать вероятности его столкновения с другими спутниками, находящимися на геостационарной орбите. Верша свой космический путь, что называется "без руля и без ветрил", американский космический шпион может в любой момент пройти в непосредственной близости от работающих спутников, утверждает ученый.

НСОИ является глобальной научной сетью, которая ведет наблюдения за высокими геоцентричными орбитами. Ученые следят за происходящем в околоземном пространстве с тем, чтобы иметь представление о количестве искусственных объектов находящегося там, большая часть из который - космический мусор.

С начала 2008 года сеть НСОИ объединяетпод своей эгидой 18 научных учреждений в различных странах мира, 18 обсерваторий, 25 телескопов и более 50 наблюдателей и исследователей.

В общем и целом, по данным НСОИ, сейчас в околоземном пространстве вращаются 152 неизвестных объекта, по которым не имеется открытой информации относительно их орбиты. Такая информация публикуется Сетью станций наблюдения за космическим пространством ВВС США в базе данных Space-Track. Кроме того, сотрудниками НСОИ обнаружены и в данный момент отслеживается 192 единицы ранее неизвестных мелких космических обломков, находящихся на геостационарной орбите.

"Таким образом, - отмечает Агапов, - деятельность НСОИ привела к тому, что количество космических объектов, находящихся на околоземной орбите известных общественности, выросло более чем на 35%, по сравнению с данными Space-Track".


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« Ответ #26 : 14 Январь 2009, 01:09:06 »


http://www.secureworldfoundation.org/index.php?id=20

Below are reports written on space situational awareness.
What is the International scientific optical observation network (ISON) for the near-Earth space surveillance? An interview-style format with Dr. Vladimir Agapov helps answer the question. http://www.secureworldfoundation.org/siteadmin/images/files/file_249.pdf
More information can be found here http://lfvn.astronomer.ru/report/0000029/index.htm.


What is the ISON?

When was it introduced?

The ISON is scientific project initiated by the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics (KIAM) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) joined then by Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Initially it was a project aiming to establishing of regular observations of GEO region in order to obtain enough data to confirm theory of evolution of fragment clouds created in explosions of old GEO resident objects. Another goal was to support radar experiments with additional tracking data using for determination of orbit precise enough to properly point narrow radar beams on selected objects.

First experiments were conducted in 2001. Idea of the project had been presented to the public for the first time in 2003 at the conference of the ISTC (International Science and Technology Center, an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the nonproliferation of weapons and technologies of mass destruction). Since May 2004 close cooperation started with colleagues from the Great Britain (former Observatory Sciences Ltd. operated so called PIMS optical network for the UK defence ministry) and then from ESA (ESOC) and Switzerland (Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern, AIUB) (since August 2004). First results had been presented at the 4th European Conference on Space Debris at ESOC, Darmstadt in April 2005.

Initial efforts had been supported by the INTAS (International Association for the Promotion of Co-operation with Scientists from the New Independent States (NIS) of the Former Soviet Union, unfortunately not functioning anymore) grants and the special grant by the Russian Ministry of education and science.

Since the end of 2004 the project was concentrated on developing and operating of the international network of optical instruments capable to search and track faint space debris objects on higher geocentric orbits. The aim is improving of our knowledge about pollution of unique regions of the near-Earth space (first of all, GEO) due to launches, on-orbit operations, explosions, deterioration of the spacecraft outer surfaces in time etc. It is important to understand which sources of space debris exists in that orbits, how many explosion events already occurred, how the overall debris population is growing and evolutioning.

In 2007 the project was officially presented at the United Nations level at the 44th session of Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space. In 2008 at the 45th COPUOS STSC session the further development of the ISON and obtained results are presented.

As of the beginning of 2008 the ISON joins:

18 scientific institutions in 9 states
18 observatories and observation facilities
25 optical instruments
more than 50 observers and researchers

The project principal coordinator is KIAM.

The ISON structure includes:
network of participating optical facilities consisting of
- search and survey subsystem for studying of bright objects in GEO region
- subsystem for high altitude space debris detection and tracking
- search and survey subsystem for studying bright objects on HEO, MEO and LEO orbits
center for observation planning and data processing including maintenance of the database of space objects
group of technical and programming support group of the network development

What technology does the network use to observe objects in orbit?

All instruments involved into the project are representing different optical telescopes with aperture ranging from 22 cm to 2.6 m. Some of them are installed on automated mounts and automation for others is undergoing now. All telescopes are using CCD cameras (mainly produced by Finger Lakes Instrumentation, FLI, well known company developing CCD imaging systems for scientific applications) for registration of object trails on the star background. Obtained frames are processing with special software (developed within framework of the project) in order to obtain accurate timing and positions of the observed objects. Those data are using for orbit determination of each object and orbital analysis at the Ballistic Center of Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics (KIAM). Special software package for CCD camera control, mount control in different observation modes is also developed within framework of the project.

Using optical instruments technology is much cheaper than of radar one especially for high altitude objects which requires very high power of transmission in case of using radars for tracking and even more – for search of unknown objects.

Series of small (22 to 50 cm) aperture size instruments had been developed within the framework of the ISON project specially to meet the requirements defined by solving tasks of high altitude objects observation. Some existing classical astronomical instruments (like widely used Zeiss-600 and Zeiss-1000) had been improved by means of extending of the FOV and automation of mounts. Even some of purchased CCD cameras produced by FLI had been redesigned or specially improved to meet requirements of the ISON observation instruments or observation strategies.

What kind of objects does it observe?

Each subsystem of the ISON is aiming to observe objects on different orbits. But all together they are aiming to obtain regular observations for as much number of high altitude space objects as possible in order to complete more or less complete picture.

Thus the ISON is observing operational and non-functioning spacecrafts, spent rocket bodies, operational debris (different kinds of covers, casings, adaptors etc.) releasing during normal launch and on-orbit operations and fragmentation debris from explosions and other events including spacecraft outer surfaces deterioration processes.

In terms of optical observations the ISON is capable to track objects as faint as 20th magnitude which corresponds to size of 10-15 cm at GEO distance (36000-40000 km) for object with some standard albedo (reflectivity). Due to real albedo as well as shape and attitude of space debris objects are not known real size of observed objects can vary in significant range.

Smaller survey instruments have less sensitivity than larger tracking ones. Though it should be noted that some of tracking telescopes have the size of field of view well enough in order to establish some local surveys in predetermined parts of inertial space.

The ISON is discovering and tracking the unique class of high altitude objects discovered for the first time in 2003 by the AIUB team with help of ESA Space Debris Telescope at Tenerife. These objects have enormously high area-to-mass ratio (AMR) which from 100 to tens of thousand times larger than for ‘normal objects’ – spacecraft and rocket bodies. This results in very strong orbital evolution due to perturbations caused by solar radiation pressure usually negligible for large and massive orbital objects. Due to these strong perturbations eccentricity of orbit of high AMR objects significantly varies. Depending of the AMR value, such objects initially appeared, say, on near-circular near GEO orbit very soon (in a few months) have reaching lower altitudes (in perigee of orbit) and even can at some moment to plunge into the atmosphere and to burn (been ‘born’ at the altitude of around 37000 km)! It was considered previously that such objects should be short lived and there should not be large amount of them on orbits. But results of the research made within framework of the ISON shows that we had been mistaken. More than half of newly discovered previously unknown faint high altitude space debris objects have AMR value large enough (1-10 and more sq.m/kg, compare – office paper sheet depending of quality have AMR value in range of 10-14 sq.m/kg).

What danger could these objects pose to satellites and other spacecraft?

The main danger posed by the space debris and even by operational spacecrafts is unintentional collision with other operational spacecraft resulting in some cases in destruction of both bodies and creation of a large cloud of new space debris objects which in turn are raising probability of new collisions etc. Despite of the first imagination about the near-Earth space as an almost empty region in fact space debris objects are concentrating on or around the most used orbits.

In the 1970th American scientist Donald Kessler theoretically proved that there is possibility that number of space debris objects will start to grow like in a ‘chain reaction’. This can happen when number (or in other words, spatial density) of space debris objects will exceed some limit. This limit which is hard to estimate without complex mathematical model represents the boundary of space debris population stability.

Modern space debris evolution models predicts for LEO orbits constant increasing of space debris population due to collisions and around 2055 the number of collision produced space debris will exceed rate of natural ‘cleaning’ caused by upper atmosphere and will continue to grow. This result is obtained by the American scientists thanks to involvement into the model a large amount of observational data as well as data produced by sophisticated models for some space debris creation processes. But for high altitude orbits (GEO, HEO) our knowledge of the current situation is very poor so we are not able to reliably predict the future situation there especially taking into account growing interest in using GEO orbit (limited natural resource).

How does ISON differ from other space surveillance systems (such as CFE data provided by the US Air Force)?

First, it should be noted that the term ‘space surveillance’ till present had been used only for military/government systems. Of course, it does not means it should not be used in more wide context, for example, with reference to scientific projects like the ISON. But we do not use this term with respect to the ISON at present to avoid some misunderstanding caused by that ‘traditional meaning’.

The ISON is an open international scientific project while existing space surveillance systems (U.S., Russian, French) are closed (and mostly classified) operational military structures working in on-duty mode. This is fundamental difference. We do not have on-duty staff, do not use special wired, optical etc. lines for communication/data transmission other than provided by the global Internet network, do not have standby or static reserves like additional CCD-camera on each facility etc. except maybe just computers etc. So, by operational nature the ISON represents just scientific community of people having joint interest and common understanding of importance of the solving scientific task while other space surveillance systems are large dedicated military units with all appropriate features.

As for the other differences, the primary one is the difference in solving tasks. We do not try to solve the problem of understanding the role each launched spacecraft plays like militaries do. We do not try to find out ‘special properties’ of operational spacecrafts and to discover their ‘soft spots’ for negation purposes. We do not using obtained data for planning of military operations on a space battlefield . We consider every orbiting object (including operational spacecraft which sooner or later are becoming a piece of dead metal) only as a potential source of danger for other objects due to possible unintentional collision or due to releasing of new space debris (including those creating in explosions of spacecrafts and rocket bodies or their parts and in other type of fragmentation events as well as during normal launch and on-orbit operations) regardless of it’s origin or ownership (all nations are equal) or purpose. And we are interested in understanding of long term global evolution of whole space objects population based on initial accurate and as complete as possible deterministic picture while military space surveillance systems are much more interested in having precise up to date deterministic picture each moment of time and in short prediction of situation based on it.

Also, despite of that fact we, similar to ‘traditional’ space surveillance systems, have developed ‘standard’ software for our hardware control and data processing which is using at every our participating facility with only few exceptions, we are not restricted, like militaries, to modify our solutions anytime trying to constantly improve our network. This does not mean our approach makes the ISON unstable system – there is some predetermined order of new ideas testing and implementation like in every large scientific project. But it makes our system more flexible than other space surveillance systems which are much more conservative.

As for the output, the ISON is comparable in this, say, with the US Air Force SSN. We also have producing orbital solutions, orbital predictions, have making analysis of the observed object’s brightness patterns, and analysis of some physical properties of observed objects like area-tomass ratio. But we have using different models for this. As a result, some of our output has quality much better than of the US SSN data provided for the public within framework of CFE initiative has.

Also, because we do not try to immediately identify each object with correspondent source (specific launch, other event or object) then we do not have restrictions on ‘creation of a new entry in official catalogue’. You probably know that the US SSN do not provide data for around of 6000 objects (mainly on LEO) they are continuously or periodically tracking but for which they are not able to determine ‘origin’ by some reason and do not keep records about such objects in ‘official catalogue’ represented for public by weekly Satellite Situation Reports (SSR). So, at every moment we have more ‘complete official records’. As for now, we definitely have much more complete database for GEO population than the U.S. Space Surveillance System (this evaluation is made by American colleagues unofficially) which is the most powerful installation of a such kind at present.

Also, we do not have strong restrictions on classification of objects from the point of view of reliability of tracking. That means we can put into our database all objects – both well tracking and have obtaining confirming measurements frequently as well as ‘rough orbits’ do not actually representing ‘real object’ (saying this I mean that this orbit can not be identified with other ‘good’ ones and can not be used for propagation and deterministic orbital analysis purposes) but rather giving just some knowledge about some orbital elements of the orbit. Of course, we have making analysis of ‘rough orbits’ in order to correlate them between each other and to construct reliable orbit for new objects. But it is very complex mathematical problem and it is not possible to solve it in any case.

Another very important difference is that there is open data exchange between the ISON partners in Russia and Europe. In 2004 for the first time in such wide international cooperation it had been established exchange not by only results but by raw observation data on GEO and high elliptical objects as well. We do regular exchange between KIAM and AIUB. AIUB, on behalf of ESA, provides also data obtained by the ESA Space Debris telescope on Tenerife. Thanks to this close and fruitful cooperation it became possible to significantly improve both quality of data and operational characteristics of the whole network especially in the field of research of the most faint space debris objects on high altitude objects. Unfortunately, there is no such exchange with American colleagues which are very restricted in distribution of their measurements and orbital data (not only with Russian scientists but even with European as well).

I am not able to compare average daily/monthly/yearly amount of measurements of the ISON and other space surveillance systems (you have these figures for the ISON on the one of viewgraphs) but I think that the numbers are comparable now.

How did ISON improve space surveillance? What objects did it track that hadn’t been observed before?

The population of high altitude objects is very large though the real count of it’s members is not known yet for objects with size less approximately than 1 m (for LEO this figure is more or less reliable for objects with size larger than 10-15 cm). Moreover, this population is the most hard to study due to large distances (normally in range 25000-50000 km). If you would like to use radars then you should have very powerful ones (because received energy reflected by an object is inverse-quartic-law of a distance between the radar and the object) which will increase the cost to enormously high level. In contrast, optical instruments do not require another power to detect object in addition to that one given freely by the Sun and reflected by the object surface (so, in case of optical observations received energy reflected by an object is inverse-square-law of a distance between the telescope and the object that makes telescopes much more sensitive instruments for detection and tracking of small objects on large distances). That is why optical instruments are most common ones used to study GEO and HEO objects since 1970th. But the optics has significant constraint which radars do not have – it is the weather. Only a few places on our planet have almost absolutely dry and clear weather all the year. But these places are mostly very hard to reach and are located in very rarely populated or absolutely uninhabited regions so the cost of operating telescopes there would be very high. Moreover, even taken all together those places do not permit to cover all high altitude orbits. Due to this constraint it is very usual situation, for example, for the U.S. SSN when some particular high altitude object is becoming ‘lost’. In fact that means the object had not been obtaining confirmation measurements during long period of time and even if new measurements for it will arrive to the processing center it will be to hard if possible at all to identify them with the ‘lost’ object using only automatic software (in such cases usually only an analyst involvement capable to operate with additional ‘non-standard’ software can help to solve the problem but not always). Other hard cases are representing by maneuvering high altitude non-GEO and non half-day period MEO spacecrafts and elliptical objects with very low perigee (in range of 80-250 km). These kinds of objects require almost constant tracking. Otherwise they can be lost within short period of time (a few days). Finally, small size objects (say, 15-20 cm) at large distances are usually very faint that requires to use large aperture optical instruments or special observation/processing technique for medium-sized aperture instruments. But another problem waits around here. This time it is the Moon. It is becoming too bright in 2nd and 3rd quarters and creates very unfavorable light pollution of the star background. Weak faint object trails are also drowning by very bright moonlight. And finally, if GEO or near-GEO objects have ‘regular’ conditions of observation (though slowly and slightly periodically changing) but HEO objects have rapidly changing conditions of observations from the particular observation facility in terms of brightness, period of visibility, angular velocity (that is very important as well for the accuracy of optical observations especially in combination with brightness variability).

From explanation given above I hope it is clear (or almost clear ) that the only solution of the problem is developing worldwide distributed network of sensors of different class. First of all, this approach provides certain backup for the case of bad weather conditions. Second, it permits to cover all high altitude orbits from multiple locations that is very important from the point of view of providing acceptable observation conditions for HEO objects for as long time as possible. Wide FOV (small and average aperture size) survey class instruments can help to do the routine job on regular tracking of relatively bright objects (brighter than 16th – 16.5th magnitude) while large instruments can be effectively used for search of the most faint objects during periods of time close to the new Moon. These objects than can be tracked by medium-size aperture instruments.

You see, that the ISON implements (or is trying to implement) the strategy described above with certain level of success. Thanks to this approach the ISON is covering now entire GEO belt, capability which only the US SSN had till the recent time. Another advantage of the ISON wide cooperation is effective use of medium and large aperture size existing astronomical instruments for high altitude space debris discovering and tracking. This was never done before except maybe just a few special cases.

As a result of all efforts, the ISON scientific cooperation have discovered already 152 unknown bright GEO objects, 120 unknown bright HEO (mainly GTO) objects, more than 440 faint (fainter than 15th – 16th magnitude) high altitude (GEO and GTO) objects including ones with high AMR (nearly 200 of those 440 objects are continuously tracking).So, 2.5 years of work of the ISON have resulted in increasing of known population in GEO region more than 35 per cent (more than one third of previously known and tracked by the whole US SSN!). This is significant achievement taking into account that till now the ISON do not have (and never had) special funds for it’s development and operation provided by the government or industry. It is pure scientific project funding by scientists working in it from grants, research works etc.

Among those objects discovered by the ISON there are a lot of fragments confirming existence of clouds created in explosions of some GEO objects (old spacecrafts and upper stages). This question has initiated the project and now it is one among many others for which we have clear answer. Though this answer is still far from complete – new discoveries raised new questions.

For example, it is not clear yet how high AMR objects are definitely creating. Now it seems that creation of these strange objects has strong relation to the deterioration of multilayer insulation (MLI) covering the spacecrafts and protecting them from severe temperature conditions in space (varying from too cold to too hot). And it is possible that the process of MLI deterioration can be continuous that means high AMR objects can be creating ‘on a regular basis’. Determining the mechanism of high AMR object creation is very important from the point of view of space debris mitigation. We should not leave more and more waste in space developing more and more problems for the future generations. Instead we have to implement into the design of a new spacecrafts such solutions which would prevent creation of any kind of space debris. In order to better understand mechanisms of such kind of space debris creation it would be good to identify at least one of ‘parent’ sources of these objects. In order to do this we have to obtain solid orbital archive of space debris and to make ‘time reverse’ analysis of the evolution trying to find in the past ‘close encounters’ of those debris and suspected ‘parents’. The ISON is going by this way.

Other improvements of space surveillance thanks to the ISON work are development, testing and implementation of new standard approaches for CCD camera and mount control, new methods of CCD frame processing (including automatic processing of very large size frames covering up to 10°x10°). New approaches for correlation of short tracks spaced by days or even months had been successfully tested and implemented that in turn resulted in jump of number of faint space debris in GEO discovered by small (22 cm) aperture instruments.

Are initiatives like space surveillance important for space security?

Space surveillance is a cornerstone of space security (if shorten ‘space security’ to the frame of issues concerning of artificial space debris) regardless of context in which the ‘space security’ term is using – national or international. In global context space security can be considered as a set of measures devoted to preservation of near-Earth space for the all mankind at present and in the future especially if one take into account growing dependence of humanity of technologies using in space and from space (remote sensing, navigation, communication, weather service, search and rescue, fundamental scientific tasks, space weather etc.) as well as some technologies using to keep watch over known problems of our world.

One of the main problems of space security (in wide meaning) is timely prediction of danger posed to operational satellites by other orbiting object because damage of any operational satellite results in degrading performance in solving of particular task. This problem can not be solved without very good knowledge of what is happening ‘above our heads’.

Talking about space security from the international point of view, establishing of global space surveillance which involves any nation wishing do what one can seems very important task. Of course, such system should have certain level of transparency and should be coordinated at international level.

How does space surveillance need to be improved in the future?

First of all, one should reach some level at which our knowledge on situation in space would be equal for all types of orbit to at least current LEO ‘completeness’ level from the point of view of estimated objects size. This will permit to construct much more accurate picture of the evolution of whole space debris population, to identify yet unknown sources producing space debris on different orbits and thus to correctly estimate possible quantity of still undetected space debris objects. In order to do this special worldwide distributed network of optical instruments (capable
to observe objects on LEO, MEO, HEO and GEO) and maybe radars like the US Air Force Space Surveillance System (AFSSS, radar fence earlier known as NAVSPASUR) should be developed. In fact, existing astronomical facilities can be used for placement of special telescopes devoted to observation of space debris objects.

There is nothing impossible in this idea if one takes into account existing worldwide network of hundreds of telescopes (operated sometimes by amateurs and not professional astronomers) searching and tracking asteroids including those ones having close encounters with the Earth as well as dedicated project like the ISON. There is nothing absolutely new in coordination process of such network – we have at least two excellent examples of civilian coordinators represented by Minor Planet Center (MPC) and Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics Ballistic Center (for the ISON). It would be good if such coordination would be established under the UN aegis.

Second important direction of improvement is significant rising of quality of space surveillance data, especially orbital solutions quality. Most of the data provided by the US Air Force within the framework of the CFE initiative have average, poor or very poor quality especially for high altitude objects, objects with high AMR value of small sized objects that does not permits to use that data for precise calculations supporting decision making in case of some dangerous situation is predicted.

The next problem to be solved is creation of the world space surveillance data center supporting by and accessible to all nations. This center should collect information not only from the network discussed above but also from operators of spacecrafts.

Much more complex but very important improvement is further development of observation instruments (radar and optical) for the purpose of establishing of tracking of as many LEO objects as possible down in size to a few cm or even less. This task requires development not only of instruments but absolutely new algorithms and software for maintenance of space object catalogue containing more than 100000 actual records. This is complex and thus interesting mathematical task.

Why does it need to be improved?

As it was said above, the main problem of the current space surveillance is incompleteness of knowledge of situation for different orbits, average or poor quality of produced output, rare orbital data update for many objects (low timeliness), low reliability of data in some cases. All this factors are significantly decreasing capability to make proper decision in situation of danger. In other words, current space surveillance capabilities does not meet even current (not talking about the future) space security requirements.

What are the current initiatives to improve space surveillance?

In short, known (unclassified) of these initiatives can be listed as following:
the U.S.:
- development, deployment and operation of a new optical network for the U.S. SSN within the framework of the HANDS (High Accuracy Network Determination System) program (several telescopes are already deployed)
- development of a new system of ground-based sensors to replace Air Force Space Surveillance System radar fence (AFSSS, former NAVSPASUR) within the framework of the Space Fence program (to be produced and deployed in FY2013-2014)
- development and operations of PanSTARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) telescope on Haleakala, Maui (initial operation is started already)
- development of space-based space surveillance capabilities within the framework of the Space-Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) project (launch of Block 10 “Pathfinder” system is expected in FY2009)

European Union:
- development of own space surveillance system, final decision on funds and оperation concept should be made by the end of this year

Russia:
- development of new observation facilities operated by the Ministry of Defence (there is no detailed information about this plan)
- development of the federal automated system of dangerous situations in space warning (ASPOS OKP), project initiated and funded by Russian Federal Space Agency

Why is space traffic management becoming an increasing issue?

Despite of really huge volume of space around the Earth and apparent unlimited number of possible orbital elements combination only very limited parts of that space is using by functioning spacecrafts. This fact can be easily understood if one took into account special requirements to operational orbits for different applications namely illumination conditions on the Earth surface for the remote sensing, global or regional coverage with minimal number of spacecrafts for communication, navigation and Earth imaging, stability of the ground track position with respect to the Earth surface for various applications etc. As a result, at present we have just several heavily populated regions like sun-synchronous and other near-polar orbits of different heights, half-day near-circular and ‘Molniya’-class elliptical orbits, geostationary orbits which are unique by nature, various (but typical) geostationary transfer orbits specific for each launch site. All other space is almost not using by operational spacecrafts (though it is populated by space debris fragments, originated mainly from explosions). In other words, we have just a few space roads with constantly increasing traffic on them. And all this happens in situation when we do not have clear rules for ‘driving’ these ‘roads’ in harmony between ‘drivers’. Nobody knows what is ‘excellent driving’ and what is ‘crime on the road’. Moreover, we are leaving our tools, spare parts, empty tanks, old dead metal on the same roads do not worrying at all about possible danger which can be posed by this stuff not only to other ‘road users’ but for ourselves as well. The situation is worsening by unexpected explosions creating thousands and thousands of new space garbage pieces.

Analysis of current situation shows that the problem of unregulated space traffic already appeared at least in GEO region. Close, sometimes dangerous, proximity operations are now common in some GEO slots where spacecrafts of different operators (and even different nations) are located. Solution finding process in such situation is relying solely on goodwill of parties. But the situation can became much more complex soon due to constantly increasing number of spacecrafts and growing their lifespan.

It seems that common rules of activity in space should be widely discussed and finally developed. In general, like in case of usual roads we’ve using every day, these rules should include statements on what is prohibited, how to act properly in different situation, who is guilty (for example, if dangerous close encounter happened due a spacecraft of one operator made a maneuver and entered trajectory crossing orbital path of other spacecraft will be that operator guilty?), which punishments will follow in case of the rules violation, defines levels of responsibility etc.

Of course, development and adoption the rules will not solve the problem if there will be no effective measures to control abidance by rules, exposure of violations and means to collect solid evidentiary base. Obviously all this is possible only in case of existence of very good international space surveillance system which would serve as an arbiter whose authority is recognized and is not in doubt.

In addition to improvements in space surveillance such as ISON, how else do you think space traffic management should be improved?

I think that answers on previous questions do contain at least partial answer on this question. In short, following measures should be implemented:
- world databank on orbital traffic should be created, transparent rules should be adopted on how the databank is filling, how it is accessing etc.
- as a first step (prior to the world databank) bi- or multilateral agreements on space surveillance data exchange should be implemented
- some level of coordination of the spacecraft orbital maintenance between different operators should be considered
- rules on the roads should be developed, discussed and adopted by the international community (at the UN level?)
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« Ответ #27 : 19 Январь 2009, 19:48:07 »

Вышла обзорная заметка  с упоминанием и нас, в том числе.

The ongoing saga of DSP Flight 23
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1290/1

by Brian Weeden
Monday, January 19, 2009


Over the last two months there have been several news stories and various rumors swirling around the Internet concerning the apparent failure of Defense Support Program (DSP) Flight 23, referred to from here on as DSP-23. Because of its military mission and importance to national security, the United States government has been, as usual, virtually silent on the matter. This informational vacuum has been filled with a considerable amount of unofficial rumors, off the record remarks, hearsay, supposition, and semi-informed commentary. The result is a situation where it can be hard to separate the facts from the fiction and yet has significant implications for space security.

At this moment, DSP-23 is drifting eastward through the geostationary belt at a rate of around 1 degree of longitude per week. It is not under any noticeable control by the United States, nor does it appear recoverable in the near future. The United States has not publicly or privately revealed its position and drift rate. There are reports that the US Government is privately alerting the owner/operators of any commercial satellite in close proximity to DSP-23 where an avoidance maneuver is necessary. What follows is the story of what is known to date about DSP-23, the reporting on the issue, how it got into this situation, what is being done to try and fix the problem, and the possible consequences and implications for space security.

Drifting satellites and racetracks

Launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on the first operational Delta 4 Heavy rocket on November 11, 2007, the newest—and last—DSP satellite got off to a great start. The launch was flawless, placing the satellite into a geostationary orbit. From this vantage point, the onboard infrared sensor could stare back at the Earth as the satellite slowly rotates about its long axis once every 10 seconds. Against the relatively cold background of the Earth and the very cold background of space, the DSP satellites are designed to detect the intense heat of missile and space launches from the Earth’s surface. The exact number of DSP satellites in orbit is unknown because of their classified nature, but the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that there are at least six operational in orbit, spread out around the Equator so that multiple satellites have coverage at the same time over any point on the Earth.

The first public indications that something was amiss came from the See-Sat amateur satellite observer community on November 15, 2008. Its members have long tracked supposedly “invisible” satellites, especially those like DSP that are seven meters (22 feet) in diameter, 10 meters (33 feet) in length, have a mass of 2,381 kilograms (5,250 pounds), and typically remain mostly stationary over a single spot on the Equator. On November 6, one particular observer had not only tracked the satellite but had equipment that could measure radio signals and noted that the usually chatty DSP-23 was not transmitting. At this time it was still in its usual location at approximately 9° E longitude, putting it above a point west of Gabon and south of Nigeria on the west coast of Africa. The same observer tracked it again on November 24 and noted that it was transmitting again but was noticeably weaker than normal. More importantly, the satellite was now drifting eastward.

One can imagine the geostationary belt as a giant, circular NASCAR racetrack and the satellites in that orbit as the cars. This is because all the satellites in GEO are at almost the same exact orbit, going around the Earth in the same general direction and altitude. Although these satellites are moving around the Earth at just under 11,300 kilometers per hour (7,000 mph), they appear to be almost stationary in the sky to an observer on the surface of the Earth because they make one complete orbit in the same time it takes the Earth to rotate once. If a spectator was to stand in the middle of the infield of a circular NASCAR track and turn in place at the same rate the cars were moving around the track, you would see the same effect: the cars would appear stationary.

Of course nothing in physics is ever this simple in reality, and indeed the situation on both the racetrack and in geostationary orbit is more complex. The exact forward velocity of a satellite in orbit around the Earth is determined by the strength of the Earth’s gravitational pull and the altitude of the satellite. The Earth is not a perfect sphere so it follows that its gravitational field, which is a function of its mass, is not uniform. In fact, there are two “bulges” along the Equator at approximately 75° and 225° East longitude. These gravity “troughs” pull satellites in geostationary orbit east or west towards whichever is closest, giving the satellite an apparent east or west drift. To a spectator spinning in place in the center of the aforementioned racetrack, the same effect can be seen by the small variations in velocity as cars jockey for position on the racetrack.

Just as a car crash in NASCAR can have disastrous effects on the entire field and not just one or two cars, policymakers decided early on that keeping satellites from colliding in geostationary orbit was extremely important. To manage this limited resource, an international legal framework managed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was put in place to license and distribute satellite frequencies (in 1963) and slots (in 1973) for geostationary orbit. Each state or private entity that wishes to place a satellite in a specific position over the Equator must apply for a license to the ITU and receive permission if they would like their physical position and operating frequency to be protected from interference.

The ITU specifies “slots” in GEO, usually as a fraction of a degree of longitude, that serve as a box within which each satellite owner/operator is supposed to maintain their satellite’s position through stationkeeping. This involves small, periodic maneuvers done to counter the east or west pull of the gravitational troughs as well as the north and south inclination drift due to the gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun. Once a satellite in the geostationary belt reaches the end of its operational life, which is usually determined by the amount of fuel they have onboard for stationkeeping, the owner/operator is supposed to boost it out of its slot into a higher graveyard orbit. This both frees up the slot for reuse and ensures that the now inactive satellite doesn’t collide with any other active satellites. The US military has followed all of these rules since their inception and has licenses from the ITU to operate its geostationary satellites.

The first media report of a possible issue with DSP-23 came from Reuters on November 24, 2008, which reported that the satellite had apparently stopped working in mid-September of that year. The story was prompted by a memorandum from the Pentagon to Congress requesting emergency funding for a “gap-filler” satellite to prevent a possible hole in missile warning coverage due to the failure and on-going delays in the constellation slated to replace DSP, the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS). Aviation Week revisited the story on December 1, but again there was no official US comment.

On December 2, SPACE.com published an article on DSP-23, this time with input from Vladimir Agapov, who runs the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON). Consisting of 18 scientific and research telescopes located mainly across Europe and Asia, ISON uses spare time on these instruments to track deep space satellites in Earth orbit. Some of this data goes into the “Classification of Geosynchronous Objects” , a publication put out by the European Space Agency’s space debris office, which serves as a supplement to the public Space Track catalog maintained US military.

Since November of 2008, DSP-23 has been drifting eastward through the GEO belt at approximately one degree of longitude a week, passing by many other active satellites along the way. First and foremost was the Hotbird constellation at 13° E, a tight cluster of three satellites operated by Eutelsat which share the same GEO slot. DSP-23 is currently drifting past the SES Astra cluster at 19° E, which just added its sixth satellite only a day or two before the arrival of DSP-23. Somewhere around the beginning of April it will pass by the Astra cluster of four satellites at 28.2° E and continue towards the 75° gravitational trough over India.

Like a car rolling down the side of a trough between two hills, DSP-23 will continue past the gravitational trough while slowing down, and at some point, probably near 135° E, will reverse its direction and head back through the trough towards its starting position. Over time it will continue to oscillate back and forth between 8° E and 135° E, with a reduction in amplitude each time until at some point many years from now it will settle in the trough at a roughly stable position along with other 148 tracked objects captured in the same manner.

Reuters published an updated story on DSP-23 on January 6 with few new facts. Again, there was no official public statement from the US government, the military, or the satellite’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin. Unofficial comments related how difficult it was to do such “long distance detective work”.

Long distance detective work

On September 17, 2008, Lieutenant General William Shelton, then commander of 14th Air Force and the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) at Vandenberg AFB in California, gave the opening keynote at the annual Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance (AMOS) conference. One of the main themes of his talk was the extreme difficulty and importance of being able to attribute critical satellite failures to their appropriate cause, be it a manufacturing defect, collision by a piece of debris, a space weather event, or from hostile action.

The inability to answer this question undoubtedly causes many a sleepless night for general officers and their staff alike, given the importance placed on satellite capabilities and dominance. And with the recent concerns over China’s burgeoning military space power and successful low Earth orbit anti-satellite test in January 2007, there is no doubt that at least a few people in Washington and the military considered the possibility that DSP-23’s failure could have been the result of some nefarious Chinese operation.

So perhaps it should not have come as a surprise that on January 14 Spaceflight Now reported that the US government had taken action to try and answer this question. According to the report, the Defense Department had maneuvered the two Micro-satellite Technology Experiment (MiTEx) satellites, previously dormant in the geostationary belt, to do inspection flybys of DSP-23 to look for any external evidence as to what caused the failure. The first made a flyby DSP-23 on December 23 and the second on New Year’s Day.

The US Air Force’s desire to have a satellite inspection capability dates back to the very beginning of military satellite operations. The Satellite Inspection (or Interception) program—SAINT—was conceived in the late 1950s and contracted to RCA in 1961. The goal was to mount a television camera and radar in the nose of an Agena B upper stage and boost it into orbit using an Atlas rocket. SAINT would then maneuver close to an unfriendly target satellite, photograph and analyze it, and report back all the details to the US military. From the beginning the US Air Force wanted to also give SAINT the ability to destroy or disable the target satellite, but such efforts were blocked by the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. The program was eventually canceled in 1962 before SAINT could make it into orbit for both budgetary reasons and because the technology challenges were deemed insurmountable at the time.

The US military finally made its satellite inspection capability reality on April 11, 2005 with the launch of XSS-11 (USA 165). This gave the US Air Force the capability to rendezvous and inspect satellites in low Earth orbit using onboard cameras and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). And on June 21, 2006 the launch of the MiTEx pair enabled this same capability in geosynchronous orbit (see “Mysterious microsatellites in GEO: is MiTEx a possible anti-satellite capability demonstration?”, The Space Review, July 31, 2006). Both XSS-11 and MiTEx were officially labeled technology demonstrators and limited to rendezvous and inspection of other pieces from their respective launches or other American satellites. However, the unofficial possibilities are obvious. And while XSS-11’s position was published in the public Space Track catalog, the MiTEx satellites (cataloged under their cover names of USA 187 and USA 188) have never had their position listed publicly by the US military.

Speculation and rogue states

Two of the most glaring errors in reporting on the saga of DSP-23 come from the same Spaceflight Now article published last week that revealed the use of MiTEx to inspect DSP-23:

At nearly 25,000 miles high, objects in geosynchronous orbit are too small to be easily seen optically or by radar.

This sentence was probably originally intended to read “very small objects in geosynchronous orbit” as it is obvious from the work of ISON and even the backyard amateur community mentioned before that most objects larger than a basketball in GEO can be tracked fairly easily, although those that are non-reflective or have unusual orbits can be difficult to track consistently. Further into the same story is the following:

In fact, DSP 23 itself carried a White House-mandated sensor package designed to detect whether rogue nuclear powers like Iran or North Korea were conducting secret nuclear tests in deep space.

Hopefully, that statement was another misquote by the author and originally was intended to read “secret nuclear tests from deep space”. During the Cold War, critics of arms control, and Test Ban Treaties in particular, used the potential for nuclear tests in deep space as one of the arguments that such a treaty was unverifiable. Even though the United States and Soviet Union clearly had the technology to test nuclear weapons in space, there was little incentive to do so, given the huge costs, very limited ability to take precise measurements of the blast and/or diagnose any abnormalities (which of course is the biggest reason to test in the first place), and the very likely probability of damage to satellites. In fact, the only possible reasons to consider a nuclear test in deep space is to either demonstrate to the world you have the capability or to severely cripple a significant portion of the geosynchronous satellites (which didn’t exist at the time much of these arguments were raised).

Thinking even for a second that either Iran or North Korea, neither of which has demonstrated the ability even to launch an object into low Earth orbit, would attempt to test nuclear devices in space to avoid detection is ludicrous. To avoid detection, a nuclear test in space would have to be done out of the line of sight of the Earth—otherwise the resulting pulse throughout the entire electromagnetic spectrum would be instantly noticeable. This means testing behind the Moon is the only possibility, and if anyone has a logical argument as to how Iran or North Korea would get an object there and record measurements it would make a more entertaining story.

It is also difficult to understand how DSP-23 could be crucial to monitoring nuclear tests from either of these States on Earth. There is already an extensive, world-wide network of nuclear detonation monitoring sensors. Some parts, such as the seismic and infrasound detectors, are maintained by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization. Others, such as those onboard the Global Positional System (GPS) satellites and DSP satellites, are maintained by the US military. The failure of DSP-23 does not represent a significant detriment in these existing capabilities. In fact, due to its operational location over Africa, the field of view of DSP-23 provides only above the horizon coverage of Iran, so using it to monitor Iran for surface or underground nuclear detonations from this location is a mostly pointless task. From this same position North Korea is on almost the opposite side of the globe.

Full disclosure and responsible actors

Much criticism, some of it warranted, has been leveled at the US government and military for their official silence and lack of disclosed information about this ongoing event. Every state does have the sovereign right to protect certain types of information that are essential to national security, and the US government considers the position of its satellites to fall into this category. Since the US military maintains the most complete source of public data on all objects in Earth orbit, it logically has the right to withhold information from that archive that it deems classified or harmful to its national security.

However, with every decision comes responsibility. In the case of an operational satellite, a state that withholds positional data on that satellite’s location from other actors in the same orbit implicitly assumes responsibility for ensuring the satellite is operated in a safe and sustainable manner and stays out of the way of any other objects in its path. States even have a strong incentive to carry through on this duty, since allowing your “invisible” satellite to collide with another object both defeats the purpose of trying to keep it hidden and likely will render it militarily useless.

Responsibility for uncontrolled satellites is less clear. While the 1972 Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects does not specifically contain provisions for on-orbit collisions, Articles VI and VII of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty do state the following:

States Parties to the Treaty shall bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space… whether such activities are carried on by governmental agencies or by non-governmental entities, and for assuring that national activities are carried out in conformity with the provisions set forth in the present Treaty.

Each State Party to the Treaty that launches or procures the launching of an object into outer space…and each State Party from whose territory or facility an object is launched, is internationally liable for damage to another State Party to the Treaty or to its natural or juridical persons by such object or its component parts on the Earth, in air or in outer space…

Those principles include the following responsibilities:

States Party to the Treaty…shall be guided by the principle of co-operation and mutual assistance and shall conduct all their activities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, with due regard to the corresponding interests of all other States Parties to the Treaty.

States Parties to the Treaty shall pursue studies of outer space…so as to avoid their harmful contamination and also adverse changes in the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter and, where necessary, shall adopt appropriate measures for this purpose.

If a State Party to the Treaty has reason to believe that an activity or experiment planned by it or its nationals in outer space…would cause potentially harmful interference with activities of other States Parties in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space…it shall undertake appropriate international consultations before proceeding with any such activity or experiment.

A State Party to the Treaty which has reason to believe that an activity or experiment planned by another State Party in outer space…would cause potentially harmful interference with activities in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space…may request consultation concerning the activity or experiment.

As with most international legal documents, the language used in the Outer Space Treaty deliberately leaves a significant amount of maneuvering room. And historically, all states have deemed certain space activities and objects national secrets and hidden them from the world to the maximum extent possible. Some might even make the argument that this has been done for long enough and consistently enough to have developed into customary international law. So while the United States has perhaps not violated the letter of the law in this regard, it is perhaps dragging its feet on complying with the full spirit and intent of the law.

This is very important for the space security debate. Most significantly, the United States was one of the loudest voices among the chorus of states condemning the Chinese as an example of a “bad actor” in space for their 2007 anti-satellite test. The United States also boasted the great lengths (by its own standards) that it went to comply with both the letter and spirit of international law during its destruction of the ailing USA 193. The United States did indeed brief the operation to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and conducted the operation in such a manner to minimize to the greatest extent possible any potentially long-lived debris. But many observers wonder to what degree this openness was forced by the ongoing public debate and media inquisition sparked by the amateur tracking of the object. And still to this day, the United States government refuses to fully reveal the calculations and methodology that proved that the reentry of the satellite did indeed pose a threat to humans and thus justified its destruction.

The use of the MiTEx pair to inspect DSP-23 also adds another interesting twist to the space security debate. As has been already pointed out by other commentators, states such as Russia and China will undoubtedly argue that this move as evidence that the United States is planning for or already has anti-satellites weapons in orbit. The history of SAINT, combined with the Air Force’s original desires for anti-satellite capability and America’s official policy of maintaining the right to neutralize adversaries’ space capabilities, provides circumstantial evidence to support this argument.

But as argued in my previous article on the issue of the Chinese BX-1 microsatellite (see “China’s BX-1 microsatellite: a litmus test for space weaponization”, The Space Review, October 20, 2008), these technologies and satellites often serve as a litmus test to reveal positions and intentions on the issue of weaponization of space. Others have also referred to it, perhaps more accurately, as a Rorschach test on space weapons. Using either analogy, it is predictable that each state would refer to its own actions as peaceful and the other’s as potentially dangerous.

If the United States truly wishes to provide evidence in support its position that it is the model for a peaceful, responsible actor in space, then it should publish the position of DSP-23 and provide all future updates, just like any other piece of space debris in the catalog. A non-responsive satellite which is instead drifting uncontrollably in the GEO belt has little military utility, and there is no longer any meaningful reason to continue to classify its position. The United States should also publish the positions of the MiTEx satellites to show that they are indeed only being used for their stated peaceful purposes. Attempting to hide their locations only encourages speculation and allows other States to claim they are indeed weapons to suit their own geopolitical purposes.

If future inspection satellites are orbited by the US military, the United States should consider making their services available to other States and space actors. The United States could even charge for those services as part of its planned Commercial and Foreign Entities (CFE) Phase 3, which plans to offer services such as analysis of space surveillance data products. Certainly there could be no harm to national security if these satellites are indeed conducting a legitimate, peaceful mission. Additionally, allowing other states to utilize such satellites could remove the imperative to develop and launch their own inspection satellites, thus minimizing the proliferation of the capability, which would certainly be to the best interests of the US military.

As with the events leading up to the destruction of USA 193 in February 2008, the best and most reliable sources of information on the saga of DSP-23 have so far been from the amateur and scientific satellite tracking community. That is both inspiring and disappointing.

There is also a measure of criticism to be leveled at the news media over this event. Several stories have been published parroting the statement that DSP-23 somehow was designed to detect Iranian or North Korean nuclear tests in deep space without asking how that could be possible (or indeed even worth spending taxpayer dollars on).

The continuing saga of DSP-23 was, and still is, yet another chance for the United States to prove that it is a responsible actor in space. So far, its performance has been somewhat underwhelming for a state that claims to be the epitome of a good actor in space. And it is a reminder to all states and space actors that with the attempt to hide the positions of satellites and information on their status comes a significant responsibility.

Geosynchronous orbit, through which the disabled DSP-23 satellite is now drifting, is filled with hundreds of communications and other satellites from dozens of companies and countries. (credit: AGI)


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« Последнее редактирование: 19 Январь 2009, 19:51:56 от Игорь » Записан
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« Ответ #28 : 24 Январь 2009, 20:30:56 »


http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htspace/articles/20081210.aspx

Look! In The Sky! It's A…

December 10, 2008: Sixty years of humans putting objects into orbit has left a lot of junk up there. Currently, over 300,000 dangerous objects 10 mm (.4 inch) in size are up there. The smallest of these is capable of disabling a satellite, or damaging a spacecraft. That's because these objects hit at very high speed (9-10 times faster than a bullet) if they, and their target, are coming from different directions. There are nearly 18,000 objects 10 centimeters (4 inches) or larger. These can do some catastrophic damage, to satellites or spacecraft. There are billions of objects smaller than 10mm, and these are responsible for many satellites failing early because of cumulative damage from getting hit by several of these micro objects. In 2007, the number of objects that could be tracked from the earth (using radar or telescopes) increased 20 percent.

There are lots of people keeping an eye on this clutter. The U.S. Air Force Space Surveillance Network, which tracks nearly 18,000 objects 10mm and larger, stopped sharing all of its information four years ago, for national security reasons. The Russian Space Surveillance System is known to use radar to track over 5,000 objects in low orbit. But the Russians have never shared this data completely, or regularly.

Filling in the gaps are two international organizations; IADC (Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee) and ISON (International Space Observation Network). IADC is a government operation, whose members include the U.S. NASA, and the equivalents in Russia, China and several other major nations. Like most government organizations, not all data is shared.

ISON is a non-government organization, and they come up with some of the most interesting stuff. ISON comprises 18 scientific institutions, 18 observatories, 25 telescopes and over a hundred professionals. ISON does not, as far as anyone knows, withhold data because of any national security concerns. This is fairly certain because ISON work is monitored, and complemented, by the efforts of thousands of amateur astronomers and orbital addicts who connect via the Internet, and constantly scour the orbital space for new objects, and dangerous movements by existing ones.

ISON already has spotted 152 larger (over 10mm) objects that have never been reported by any of the government organizations. The Internet based amateurs are often the first to spot a lot of this new activity, mainly because they have more eyeballs, and, in some cases, impressive optical equipment, searching the skies.
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« Ответ #29 : 24 Январь 2009, 20:48:29 »

http://www.c4isrjournal.com/story.php?F=3847528

Pentagon seeks a missile-warning backup

January 01, 2009

With Russian satellite observers reporting that America’s newest missile-warning satellite is adrift in orbit, the U.S. is scrambling to acquire a gap-filler satellite as a hedge against a possible lapse in coverage years from now.

The U.S. launched its final Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite in November 2007 on the assumption that the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellites would be ready in time to prevent a coverage gap. The U.S. Air Force plans to launch the first SBIRS satellite in 2010, but California-based Lockheed Martin Space Systems continues to wrestle with software issues on that satellite, which, like the DSP spacecraft, would sound the alarm for the country’s anti-missile tracking sensors and rockets.

The Pentagon plans to ask Congress for permission to reprogram $117 million in 2009 to begin procurement of a Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Infrared Gap Filler System, a satellite that would be launched in 2014, according to an acquisition decision memorandum signed by John Young, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. The money would be a down payment on the gap-filler satellite which is expected to cost from $350 million to $800 million.

The Air Force does not publicly discuss the status of the DSP constellation, but telescope observations by the Russian Academy of Science’s International Space Observation Network (ISON), combined with eavesdropping by amateur radio operators, indicate that DSP-23, the final satellite in the three-decade-old DSP series, stopped transmitting in mid-September and began drifting in October. The Russian group tracked the newest DSP satellite for months as it performed station-keeping maneuvers to keep it within 1 degree of its orbital slot in geosynchronous orbit. Amateur radio operators stopped detecting transmissions from the satellite in September, and the satellite began drifting farther east than its usual range in October, ISON’s Vladimir Agapov said.

A military panel known as the Deputy’s Advisory Working Group made the gap-filler decision after hearing from an infrared joint analysis team led by Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, Young’s memo said. Chilton’s joint analysis team got to work after an undisclosed event caused degradation in DSP coverage, heightening the risk of a coverage gap as the other DSP satellites age, Pentagon and industry sources said.

So far, Lockheed Martin has delivered two SBIRS payloads that are flying on classified satellites in highly elliptical orbits and will produce two more. The joint analysis team had previously determined that any potential risk of a coverage gap could be mitigated by changing the way the SBIRS elliptical-orbit payloads are utilized.

 — Turner Brinton and Leonard David
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« Ответ #30 : 31 Январь 2009, 12:21:43 »

Сегодня (31 января 2008 г.) в "Вестях" (ТВ, Россия) дают краткий очерк об Уссурийской Станции, там в нарезке, насколько я могу судить, мелькает и монтировку от Diskus'a-Чекалина, на лету не разглядел, эта или WS-240GT.

Так что - с дебютом в средствах массовой информации (если не ошибся с идентификацией монтировки)!!!

Думаю, сюжет покажут ещё несколько раз за сегодня, в выходные они не часто обновляют новостную нарезку.
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