U.S. Strategic Command has selectedÂ California Polytechnic State University to support a global effort to track in-orbit objects via satellites. Cal Poly said TuesdayÂ that it holds 20 years of helping Vandenberg Air Force Base pack and launch CubeSats for the tracking of in-orbit debris.
Government officials are concerned with the growing amount of space debris and inactive, floating spacecraft inÂ Earth orbit.
âWe share a lot of data back and forth with the 18th Space Control Squadron,â said Ryan Nugent, anÂ aerospace engineer atÂ Cal Poly.
He said the squadron would sendÂ information on collisions that may involveÂ Poly Cal’s satellites. The university then uses this input to reduce chances of these collisions. Cal Poly studentsÂ also transmit GPS-based information thatÂ Vandenberg operators save for tracking purposes.
Debris-tracking information supports launch safety,Â satellite maneuver planning,Â electromagnetic interference investigations, collision assessments and other space management activities.