Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Eglin radar fills gap

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Because of budget cuts, radar at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is helping to make up for the shut down of a third of the Space Fence radar. That's what Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, said during the 29th annual National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. East Coast radar receivers that provide data about satellites and space debris have been turned off as part of an effort to save $508 million from the budget of Shelton's command. A radar at Eglin is capable of countering that loss, Shelton said, but doing so takes that radar out of its regular rotation. "So there's some risk we're taking here, but it's prudent risk," he said. Shelton said models show that more than 500,000 man-made objects are in orbit today, with U.S. systems tracking less than 5 percent. Most of those objects are too small to be picked up by current sensors, but represent potentially catastrophic dangers to satellites. (Sources: Air Force Times, AOL Defense, 04/09/13) Previous