DARPA Testing Space Telescope

The DARPA-developed Space Surveillance Telescope has collected its first images of deep space, the agency announced. The sophisticated telescope, now in its demonstration phase, is designed to offer an unprecedented wide-angle view of deep space and detect dim objects that existing ground-based space surveillance sensors cannot discern. “Currently we have a ‘soda straw’ view of deep space, where we can only see one narrow segment of space at a time,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Travis Blake, DARPA’s SST program manager. The telescope is a compact design that is agile on its moveable mount, enabling it to survey the sky rapidly. The goal is to use SST to support cataloging objects in the geosynchronous region of space and possibly to survey stars and comets. M.I.T.’s Lincoln Laboratories and L-3 Brashear are DARPA’s partners for SST. (DARPA release)