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India's SSA Observatory: Pioneering Space Technology



  Mar 18, 2024

India's First Commercial Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Observatory: A Big Leap Forward



This explainer dives into the significance of India's first-ever commercial SSA observatory set up in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand.
 
What is Space Situational Awareness (SSA)?

SSA is the practice of monitoring human-made objects orbiting Earth, including operational satellites, defunct satellites, and space debris. It's crucial for:

Preventing collisions: Predicting the trajectories of objects in space helps avoid accidents between satellites and other spacecraft.

Ensuring safety: Knowing the location of space debris minimizes risks to operational missions.

Understanding the space environment: Monitoring space objects provides valuable data for research purposes.
 
Why is this observatory important for India?

Reduces Reliance on Others: Until now, India relied on foreign data sources, primarily from the US, for SSA information. This observatory establishes domestic capabilities.

Improves Space Traffic Monitoring: The observatory fills a critical data gap between Australia and southern Africa, enhancing global space traffic monitoring.

Tracks Activity Over India: It allows real-time monitoring of space activity in the Indian subcontinent, providing valuable insights.

Boosts Domestic Capabilities: This initiative strengthens India's space monitoring infrastructure, including multi-object tracking radars.

Contributes to Global Networks: Data from the observatory will supplement existing global SSA sensor networks, improving overall tracking capabilities.

The Observatory's Role:

Tracks Military Satellites and Debris: It will monitor both operational satellites (including military) and space debris, providing a comprehensive picture of the space environment.

Predicts Location and Trajectory: The observatory will track the location, speed, and trajectory of space objects, enabling collision avoidance measures.

Monitors Resident Space Objects (RSOs): RSOs are any object in Earth orbit. This observatory will keep a close watch on them. Overall, India's first commercial SSA observatory marks a significant step towards self-reliance in space situational awareness. It strengthens India's position in the global space race and contributes to a safer space environment for all.


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