Orbital Debris Laser

This idea from Europe to use laser pulses to find and track orbital debris is interesting. when I first read the headline, I was hoping the idea was using a high powered laser to destroy debris, or help it’s orbit decay more quickly. I’m not sure the sizes of debris that DLR is advertising they can detect is all that impressive. I think the US military systems already track down to a few centimeters (although, anything only a few millimeters to a centimeter across can be destructive to ISS, so we need to get much better). Perhaps lasers would be more accurate than the current radar method we use? I’d like to see more on this – beyond just a press release.

Hopefully, the new IMAX movie “Space Junk 3D“, which is now showing around the country, will boost public interest in this issue and maybe drive up funding for research and development in this area. One can hope. I will go see the movie at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and I’ll write a review here. Stay tuned!

March 5, 2012 11:24 pm

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