. 24/7 Space News .
New Observatory Will Track Near-Earth Satellites and Space Debris
by Staff Writers
Stuttgart, Germany (SPX) May 29, 2020

Estimations suggest that around 70,000 satellites and other objects could be in low Earth orbit by the end of the 2020s. In particular, megaconstellations, which are comprised of thousands of satellites, will contribute considerably to this development.

With the construction of a new research observatory, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is taking the next step in determining the nature and trajectory of objects in low-Earth orbit as quickly, precisely and reliably as possible. This is fundamental for the future of spaceflight as it is the only way to prevent collisions between objects such as space debris and active satellites.

One of the research and development objectives of the DLR Institute of Technical Physics is the high-precision distance measurement of orbiting objects using specialised lasers. DLR researchers also want to locate previously unknown orbiting objects and characterise them as accurately as possible using spectral analyses to help precisely determine the wavelength composition of the light emitted by the objects.

This will enable the researchers to identify the type of object, in addition to its orbit and period of rotation. "With the research observatory located at the Empfingen Innovation Campus, we will combine many of our current technological capabilities," explains Thomas Dekorsy, Head of the DLR Institute of Technical Physics in Stuttgart.

"This new and significantly larger telescope will enable us to monitor even smaller objects in orbit and will significantly advance technological developments in this field of research. It is our goal to detect, locate and identify objects which have a size of ten centimetres or less."

15-Meter-High Domed Building Will House a 1.75-Metre-Diameter Telescope
Construction work for the optical observatory, with the project name MS-LART (Multi-Spectral Large Aperture Receiver Telescope), will begin at the end of May 2020 at the Empfingen Innovation Campus in the north of the Black Forest. A primary mirror with a diameter of 1.75 metres will be housed in a 15-metre-high building with a rotatable dome. The Innovation Campus is easy to reach and offers ideal research conditions for DLR scientists from Stuttgart-Vaihingen.

"We are looking forward to cooperating with the Innovation Campus and the local community of Empfingen and thank them for the extensive support," says Dekorsy.

Inauguration in Spring 2021; Research Telescope Will Be the Largest of Its Kind in Europe
Both the telescope and the building will be constructed by the specialist company Astro Systeme Austria (ASA). The telescope is expected to receive 'first light' - the moment when the light of an astronomical object is captured by a telescope for the first time - in December 2020. An official inauguration is planned for spring 2021. The DLR research observatory will then be the largest of its kind in Europe. The investment of approximately 2.5 million euro is being provided by DLR and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

A Threat for Space Operations: Low-Earth Orbit Is Getting Crowded
The observations and measurements made by DLR researchers will particularly focus on objects orbiting at altitudes between 400 and 2,000 kilometres. Today, the number of satellites in these low Earth orbits is increasing drastically.

In the long term, this will lead to a substantial increase in the amount of space debris present in this region. This development will threaten both crewed and uncrewed spaceflight. Estimations suggest that around 70,000 satellites and other objects could be in low Earth orbit by the end of the 2020s. In particular, megaconstellations, which are comprised of thousands of satellites, will contribute considerably to this development.

Related Links
German Aerospace Center
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

UK commits new funding to combat space debris
London, UK (SPX) May 27, 2020
New government funding for innovative solutions to tackle the growing problem of potentially hazardous space debris, has been announced by the UK Space Agency. There are an estimated 900,000 pieces of space debris larger than 1 cm orbiting the Earth, with only a small proportion of them tracked. The UK Space Agency is providing up to 1 million pounds for organisations to come up with smart solutions to this problem by using cost effective ways to monitor objects in low Earth Orbit, or applyi ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

No SpaceX T-shirts for tourists at Cape Canaveral

Airbus wins ESA contract to construct third European Service Module for NASA's Orion spacecraft

NASA seeking US Citizens for social isolation study for Moon and Mars missions

Barrett, Raymond speak with U.S. astronaut ahead of historic launch

SpaceX astronaut launch: here's the rocket science it must get right

Crew Dragon DEMO-2 mission ready for new era for human spaceflight

First test of Virgin Orbit rocket fails to accomplish goal

NASA astronauts will test new SpaceX capsule, execute spacewalks

Air deliveries bring NASA's Perseverance Mars rover closer to launch

MAVEN maps electric currents around Mars that are fundamental to atmospheric loss

The detective aboard NASA's Perseverance Rover

NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds Clues to Chilly Ancient Mars Buried in Rocks

China space program targets July launch for Mars mission

More details of China's space station unveiled

China's tracking ship Yuanwang-5 back from rocket monitoring mission

China's Kuaizhou rocket industrial park partially operational

New UK-based space team launches to boost sector and economy

Harwell Space Cluster launches 10-year strategy to become UK Gateway to Space

Study explores space's impact on our daily lives

Strings of pearls in the night sky - the Starlink satellite project

Machine-learning tool could help develop tougher materials

SpaceChain invests in Core Semiconductor to drive open Direct Satellite-to-Devices Communication

UK commits new funding to combat space debris

Solving the space junk problem

Astronomers create cloud atlas for hot, Jupiter-like exoplanets

Galactic crash may have triggered Solar System formation

The bold plan to see continents and oceans on another earth

Terrestrial bacteria can grow on nutrients from space

SOFIA finds clues hidden in Pluto's haze

New evidence of watery plumes on Jupiter's moon Europa

Telescopes and spacecraft join forces to probe deep into Jupiter's atmosphere

Newly reprocessed images of Europa show 'chaos terrain' in crisp detail

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.