Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Air Force Engineer Invents new way to Track Space Debris

AF Engineer Richard Rast has taken on a formidable task, in hopes of keeping present and future astronauts, and their equipment, safe. 

As you might remember, one of my soapbox subjects has been the amount of space debris in orbit around the Earth.  There is roughly 500,000 pieces of debris, all traveling at 17 thousand miles per hour, capable of doing significant damage to astronauts and the vital hardware that is orbiting as well. 

Rast's system could be a low cost augment to the present method which rely on expensive telescopes, radar systems and considerable manpower for analysis.  Rast's method uses small telescopes who's images are then converted to "movies".  From here he :
  • uses the human eye’s sensitivity to detect variations between frames to separate man-made objects from the star background and identify objects the size of just a few centimeters.  (from the Washington Post article HERE)
 Read the complete article HERE

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