Re: Air Force Space Command to discontinue space surveillance system

From: Sheldon Cooper (bigbazinga@yahoo.com)
Date: Wed Aug 14 2013 - 14:14:08 UTC

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    http://csbj.com/2013/08/13/space-command-cuts-space-fence-ends-local-contract/
    
    Excerpt:
    
    "Air Force officials say that the surveillance system, operational since 1961, is just one part of its overall space surveillance network. The system is designed to transmit a “fence” of radar energy vertically into space to detect all objects intersecting he fence. It can detect object in an “un-cued” observations – not tracking them based on previous information.
    
    But officials say the design is dated, and data is inaccurate. New operating systems at Cavalier and Eglin Air Force bases provide more accurate information.
    “The AFSSS is much less capable than the Space Fence radar planned for Kwajalein Island in the Republic of the Marshall Islands,” said Gen. William L. Shelton, commander, of the Air Force Space Command.  ”In fact, it’s apples and oranges in trying to compare the two systems.”
    
    Unlike the AFSSS, the new Space Fence will provide very precise positional data on orbiting objects and will be the most accurate radar in the Space Surveillance Network.
    
    The newer system will provide capabilities to detect and track orbiting objects such as commercial and military satellites, depleted space boosters and space debris.  It will have much greater sensitivity, allowing it to detect, track and measure an object the size of a softball orbiting more than 1,200 miles in space.  Because it is also an un-cued tracking system, it will provide evidence of satellite break-ups, collisions or unexpected maneuvers of satellites.
    “When combined with the new Joint Space Operations Center’s high performance computing environment, the new Fence will truly represent a quantum leap forward in space situational awareness for the nation,” Shelton said."
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