Author Topic: Space Fence Shutdown  (Read 9496 times)

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Offline J P Sousa

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Space Fence Shutdown
« on: March 07, 2014, 07:44:14 PM »
Deployed in the 1960s, the VHF Space Fence includes three transmitter sites and six receiving stations. It is responsible for approximately 40 percent of all observations performed by the Air Force-run Space Surveillance Network, which includes other ground-and space-based sensor assets, said Brian Weeden, technical adviser at the Secure World Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to space sustainability.

 Aug 12-14/13: Space Fence Shutdown. So, the total amount of money saved by shutting down the Space Fence (AFSSS) by Oct 1/13, due to “resource constraints caused by sequestration”? $14 million per year. Instead, USAF SMC is looking at modifying operating modes for the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Characterization System at Cavalier AFS, ND and the space surveillance radar at Eglin AFB, FL. The USAF’s defense:

“The operational advantage of the AFSSS is its ability to detect objects in an un-cued fashion, rather than tracking objects based on previous information. The disadvantage is the inherent inaccuracy of the data, based on its dated design. The new operating modes at Cavalier AFS and Eglin AFB will provide more accuracy than the AFSSS and still collect un-cued observations.”

On the flip side, it’s worth asking what percentage reduction that represents for tracking coverage. Less coverage means that less debris will be tracked, which means less accurate orbits, which makes predicting collisions harder and less accurate. The new plan also leaves Eglin AFB as the only dedicated space radar, so it creates an absolute failure risk.

Gravity for real ???

Space Junk is a danger to satellites, but budget cost cutting may mean more collisions in space.

The new space fence,
It was slated to go live by 2015, but current GAO reports believe this will be 2017 at the earliest, and subsequent development are pushing it toward 2018 – 2020.
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Offline Chris_

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Re: Space Fence Shutdown
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2014, 07:48:18 PM »
I've wondered why national space agencies don't take advantage of Aerogel to capture space debris for disposal.  A round satellite body filled with the stuff, some solar panels, and some way to maneuver it might make a dent in the floating landfill up there.
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Offline Rick

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Re: Space Fence Shutdown
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2014, 11:59:52 PM »
I wonder why it is not being harvested. Little nuclear reactors for power, tanks to be converted to living quarters. The money has been spent to get it up there, lets use it.

Offline marv

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Re: Space Fence Shutdown
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2014, 12:45:47 AM »
Eventually, we won't be able to launch beyond low earth orbit because there's so much junk out there. Nuts, bolts, and even paint chips can disable space craft.