Air Force Begins New Space Tracking System

by: Matthew Potter
July 15, 2009

Category: Australia, Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Countries, development program, Events, IT, Military Aviation, missile defense, Northrop Grumman Corp., production program, S&T, Satellites, Services, space, U.S. Air Force, United States | RSS 2.0

The United States Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a contract to begin development of a ground based radar to conduct surveillance of space objects. The initial contract is worth about $30 million. The current Air Force system was installed back in the early Sixties.

The need for an upgrade to this capability has become more critical in recent years as the amount of near earth objects, space junk and satellites has increased. This system while primarily used to support missions in space will also provide some aid in missile defense. Identifying and tracking space junk will allow better detection of new objects including possible missile launches. The proliferation of objects has also affected launches and operations in space as the threat of collision to manned vehicles is especially dangerous.

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