Re: Why optical sensors are not used along with radars for generating TLEs of LEO objects?

From: John A. Dormer 2 via Seesat-l <>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2017 23:44:29 -0500
Actually, the Space Surveillance Radar system went dark a few years back 
as part of the "sequestration" process in the American budgetary crisis. 
I make pilgrimages past the Lake Kickapoo site every few years.

There have been development of a 5 GHz follow-on, and all of these 
systems will be based in the southern hemisphere (based on public 
reports). There is a prototype in development on Kwajalein.


On 9/8/2017 9:17 PM, George Roberts via Seesat-l wrote:
> Lots of good answers already.  Also note that optically you can only 
> see LEO's while they are lit by the sun.  For a given telescope that 
> might be as little as 3 hours every 24 hours.  Maybe 4 hours.  But the 
> radar can monitor 24 hours per day.
> For higher orbits telescopes are observing the entire night.
> Also the installation in the US that monitors LEOs I believe is called 
> the "space fence".  An invisible wall oriented north to south where if 
> anything passes through that wall it is seen.
> - George
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