Applied Defense Solutions and teammates University of Arizona, Lockheed Martin and Pacific Defense Solutions will spend a year cataloging human-made objects in geostationary orbit using data solely derived from commercial space-surveillance sources, such as passive radio-frequency receivers, radar, and ground-based optical telescopes, to populate a database of orbital objects.
“We know what we launch, we know when things explode, sometimes we know when things collide,” said Moriba Jah, director of Space Object Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona.
“But some of this debris might be just because old dead satellites start flaking and pieces start breaking off. But we don’t know. We haven’t done that kind of study yet.”