IARPA Selects Prime Contractors for Space Debris Identification and Tracking Program
A-Tech, Advanced Space, SRI International and West Virginia University Research Corp. will develop and enhance technologies for tracking, detecting and characterizing small pieces of space debris.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity awarded the companies four-year contracts to provide orbital junk monitoring solutions under the Space Debris Identification and Tracking program.
As prime contractors, the vendors will team up with academic and private sector organizations in the SINTRA effort. Work includes improving the capabilities of ground-based radars, tracking satellites and optical sensors, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said.
SINTRA aims to monitor debris objects less than 10 centimeters in size. Existing systems for debris tracking only detect space junk larger than 4 inches.
In a 2021 report, the NASA Office of the Inspector General and the National Science and Technology Council said small debris pieces pose the greatest threat to space missions in low-Earth orbit; however, less than 1 percent of such orbital junk is tracked and characterized.
Category: Defense and Intelligence
Tags: A-Tech Advanced Space Defense and Intelligence IARPA Office of the Director of National Intelligence Space Debris Identification and Tracking SRI International West Virginia University Research Corp.