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ISRO's Project NETRA: Monitoring Space Debris



  Apr 30, 2024

ISRO’S PROJECT NETRA



1. What is Project NETRA?

Project NETRA (Network for Space Object Tracking and Analysis) is an initiative by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It serves as an early warning system designed to detect and track space debris and other hazards that could pose threats to Indian satellites in orbit.

2. Why is Project NETRA important?

Space debris, including spent rocket stages, defunct satellites, and fragments from various space operations, poses a significant risk to active satellites and spacecraft. These objects travel at extremely high speeds and can cause catastrophic damage upon impact. Project NETRA aims to safeguard India’s space assets by providing timely warnings and enabling avoidance maneuvers.

3. How does Project NETRA work?

Project NETRA utilizes a network of radars, telescopes, and optical systems to monitor and track objects as small as 10 cm in diameter at geo-transfer orbits and up to 30 cm in lower orbits. This tracking helps in assessing collision risks, enabling preventative actions to protect satellites.

4. Where is the NETRA control center located?

The control center for Project NETRA, also known as the ISRO SSA (Space Situational Awareness) Control Centre, is situated within the ISTRAC (ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network) campus at Peenya, Bangalore.

5. What are the types of debris monitored by NETRA?

NETRA focuses on tracking a wide range of space debris, including spent rocket stages, decommissioned satellites, fragments from anti-satellite tests, and other miscellaneous debris generated from satellite collisions or explosions.

6. What impact does space debris have on satellite operations?

Collisions with space debris can disable satellites, leading to loss of communication, navigation, and other critical satellite functions. Even small debris, measuring just a few centimeters, can puncture satellite components at high speeds, rendering them inoperable.

7. How does NETRA contribute to global efforts in space safety?

While primarily focused on protecting Indian space assets, the data and analyses provided by NETRA also contribute to global space situational awareness. By sharing information with international space monitoring networks, NETRA helps enhance the overall safety and sustainability of space operations worldwide.



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