U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Nina Armagno has said the Air Force’s Space Surveillance Telescope will help defend U.S. space assets against adversaries and support accountability in the space domain, DoD News reported Saturday.
Cheryl Pellerin writes the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-built SST is designed to track a few large space objects at a time to a widescreen view of 10,000 objects as small as softballs.
DARPA transferred the ownership of SST to the Air Force during a transition ceremony at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, ExecutiveGov reported Friday.
“We must be able to see aggressive behavior when it unfolds [and] be prepared to act decisively to defend our own assets and to hold others accountable for their actions,” said Armagno, director of strategic plans, programs, requirements and analysis for Air Force Space Command.
Armagno added SST is part of the U.S.’ space situational awareness system that will help reveal adversaries’ intent and mitigate aggressive behavior, Pellerin wrote.
SST will also serve as a dedicated sensor in the U.S. Space Surveillance Network that is operated by the Air Force Space Command, the report stated.
The telescope is built to search an area larger than the U.S. in seconds and scan a quarter of the sky multiple times a night, Pellerin reported.