Tracking Trash in Space

Lockheed Martin and Electro Optic Systems recently broke ground on a new facility in western Australia designed to track debris in space, according to a Lockheed release. The facility will use sensors, lasers, and optic systems to find and track space debris and to help prevent collisions with satellites in orbit. The accuracy of the optical sensor network, “combined with an ability to reschedule tracking operations according to commercial priorities, will provide a trusted source of critical space data” for commercial and government entities, said Mark Valerio, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of military space. The sensor network, called Optical Space Services, was formed in August 2014 and complements radar-based systems like the Air Force’s Space Fence, which is set to replace the Air Force Space Surveillance System in late 2018.