Re: SpaceView search people to track debris

From: Greg Roberts (grr@telkomsa.net)
Date: Tue Nov 13 2012 - 11:58:35 UTC

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    The video on the SPACEVIEW site etc show stations being established outside the 
    US - dont see any in Africa.   DARPA is trying to copy ISON, except that they 
    want to use amateurs and hence minimal cost.   It looks like the amateur has to 
    have access to a relatively large telescope - this seems to imply that the 
    effort is aimed at high altitude debri and not debri in low earth orbit.  If 
    this is the case they are looking at tracking manitude +15 or fainter in geo 
    orbit. They state they can only track 30,000 of the 500,000 pieces of junk so 
    whats not currently trackable is SMALL.   I still think its a bit of a hare 
    brained idea - especially with regards to leo junk - guess the magnitudes here 
    will be around +9 and fainter.
    
    The first logical place will be to declassify the 350 odd objects that the 
    amateurs track - this is the largest debri and represents the biggest threat to 
    commercial satellite operators.
    
    In theory its a nice idea to span in amateurs but I think they are over rating 
    the capabilities of the average amateur and I do not see a massive influx of 
    potential observers such as would be needed to make this a practical 
    proposition.   At the moment they are looking for amateur input etc - Im not 
    signing up..
    
    Anyway will be interesting to see what happens but Im not expecting anything 
    earth shattering or really solving the debri problem :-))
    
    Cheers
    Greg
    
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