Maui News

Maui Researchers Delve into Future Satellite Catalog

November 17, 2017, 7:00 AM HST
* Updated November 17, 8:29 AM
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The US carries on an extensive world-wide satellite tracking operation to catalog all known man-made objects in orbit around the Earth. This satellite catalog serves a variety of military, commercial, civil and even diplomatic functions.

Photo: Paul W. Schumacher, Jr., Ph.D. PC: (background image) NASA.

At present, more than 20,000 objects are routinely tracked and monitored, and their positions can be calculated for any point in time – past, present or future. However, commercial space activity is expected to grow exponentially over the next few decades, and several very sensitive, high-capacity tracking systems will be coming online in the next few years.

Updating and maintaining a future satellite catalog that may be an order of magnitude larger than the current one will become extremely complex.

Dr. Paul W. Schumacher, Jr., Ph.D will outline the fundamentals of the satellite catalog, and describe the difficulties of building the future space catalog during a talk today on Maui.

In “The Future Satellite Catalog” talk, Dr. Schumacher will explain why this problem is occupying a number of researchers in Government laboratories around the country, including a few researchers right here on Maui.

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The talk takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at the Institute for Astronomy Advanced Technology Research Center, located at 34 ʻŌhiʻa Kū Street in Pukalani. Admission is free and the talk is open to members of the public.

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