The U.S. Air Force assumed ownership of the Space Surveillance Telescope from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency during a transition ceremony held Tuesday in New Mexico.
DARPA said Wednesday SST is designed to perform space situational awareness functions and detect potential satellite collisions in deep space.
An article published Tuesday on ExecutiveGov says the Air Force Space Command will jointly operate the optical telescope with the Australian government through the Harold E. Holt Naval Communication Station in Western Australia.
SST is built to detect and track “debris and satellites about 36,000 kilometers above the Earth,” Lindsay Millard, program manager for SST at DARPA, said at the event.
“Before SST, no single telescope could handle both of these challenges: seeing things that are very small, very faint, and very far away, simultaneously over an enormously vast area,” Millard added.
Other speakers at the ceremony include Steven Walker, deputy director at DARPA; Eric Evans, director of MIT Lincoln Laboratory; Air Force Maj. Gen. Nina Armagno, director of strategic plans, programs, requirements and analysis at the Air Force Space Command headquarters; and Air Commodore Sally Pearson, director of general surveillance and control at the Royal Australian Air Force.