View Full Version : Air Force contributs money to restart SETI; plans to use it for "space surveillance"

12-26-2011, 10:20 PM
AFSPC, through the Space Innovation and Development Center (SIDC), is currently researching the possible use of the ATA to augment the already extensive sensors of the Space Surveillance Network, potentially leveraging the array to help increase space situational awareness. Initial demonstrations show promise for the ATA to track transmitting satellites in Low Earth Orbit, Medium Earth Orbit and, most promising, in Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO), which is home to the most costly, highly-utilized, and vital satellites that orbit the earth. A collision and subsequent debris field in GEO could permanently remove the GEO belt from worldwide use.AFSPC is working with the SETI Institute to demonstrate the array’s capability of accurately surveying the GEO belt by demonstrating the array’s capability of precisely locating objects in that area, in an effort to avoid a devastating collision in GEO. The ATA may prove to be a viable and sensitive SSN sensor, capable of all-weather, day and night operations, and will hopefully lead to improved space safety.The Navy (correct me if I'm wrong) controls NOAA so they already have satellites watching the earth's atmosphere. They also have the 10th Fleet (that was the big announcement at the now infamous luncheon attended by Clay Pickering and Richard Theilmann) monitoring cyberspace.

Now the Air Force contributes money to restart SETI so they can monitor low earth orbit objects during the day while the SETI people have the array pointed at goldilocks planets at night. Granted, the array is able to find a much wider range of signals but, how wide is the spectrum of signals emitted by human made satellites that makes the array necessary? Shouldn't the Air Force be able to detect human made satellites and debris with what they already have? And, if the Air Force finds some debris heading for the space station, what can they do about it?

Technology isn't my field but, to me, this just doesn't add up.

12-27-2011, 03:47 AM
I just realized that the article in the post above, does not really say that SETI has already received money from the Air Force. This article does http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57338719-1/kepler-22-b-a-top-target-in-restarted-seti-alien-search/

The SETI Institute says (http://www.seti.org/node/905) the restart of the search is thanks to funding raised via the Web--the SETIStars (https://setistars.org/donations/new) program has raised more than $200,000 in online donations--as well as additional funds from the U.S. Air Force.