News


Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System (GEODSS) (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The ground-based electro-optical deep space surveillance system (GEODSS) is an optical system that uses a low-light-level TV camera, computers, and large telescopes. GEODSS tracks objects in deep space, or from about 3,000 NM out to beyond geosynchronous altitudes. GEODSS requires nighttime and clear weather tracking because of the inherent limitations of an optical system. There are currently three operational GEODSS sites with coverage areas as follows: Socorro, New Mexico (165W-050W); Maui, Hawaii (140E-010W); and Diego Garcia, Indian Ocean (010E-130E). Each site has three telescopes, allowing GEODSS to track three objects simultaneously.

(U) All three telescopes are linked to video cameras. Two of the three telescopes are 102 cm aperture main telescopes, which are used primarily to search the deep sky for faint, slow-moving objects. The other, a 38 cm telescope, does wide searches of lower altitudes where objects travel at higher relative speeds. The only exception to this configuration is the Diego Garcia site, which has three 102 cm telescopes. The television cameras feed their space pictures into a computer that drives a display device. The computer automatically filters stars from the night sky backdrop, and the satellites appear on the display screen as streaks of light. GEODSS can transmit position and identification signature data to the SSC (in Cheyenne Mountain) in seconds. GEODSS sensors are responsible for over 65 percent of all deep space object tracking and surveillance, and provide almost worldwide coverage of the equator.

Details (U):

Description User Impact Programmatics Images
Related Initiatives Related Requirements Related Categories Road Map Placements
Additional Hotlinks Lead Office POC  


Description (U):

(U) Space surveillance is essential to the space control mission and involves the functions and ability to monitor, assess, and inform. The nerve center of United States Space Command's (USSPACECOM) space surveillance mission is the Space Surveillance Center (SSC) located deep inside Cheyenne Mountain AFB, Colorado. A computer network in the SSC keeps a constant record of the movements of thousands of man-made objects orbiting the Earth. These objects include satellites (active and inactive) and pieces of space debris. The SSC computers receive a steady flow of information from the elements of the space surveillance network (SSN). The SSN consists of radars and optical tracking devices located around the world. Specific SSC responsibilities include:

(U) 1. Providing operational command and control of the SSN. These activities include tasking of sensors to provide tracking support for routine space catalog maintenance, space object identification, and special events monitoring.
(U) 2. Maintaining a catalog of orbital characteristics of all observable man-made space objects for position prediction.
(U) 3. Providing routine space operations information.
(U) 4. Providing orbital data to many users and informing the Space Defense Operations Center of any contributing factors affecting any degradation of performance within the SSN.

(U) The ground-based electro-optical deep space surveillance system (GEODSS) is an optical system that uses a low-light-level TV camera, computers, and large telescopes. GEODSS tracks objects in deep space, or from about 3,000 NM out to beyond geosynchronous altitudes. GEODSS requires nighttime and clear weather tracking because of the inherent limitations of an optical system. There are currently four operational GEODSS sites with coverage areas as follows: Socorro, New Mexico (165W-050W); Maui, Hawaii (140E-010W); ChoeJong San, South Korea (070E-178E); and Diego Garcia, Indian Ocean (010E-130E). Each site has three telescopes, allowing GEODSS to track three objects simultaneously. All three telescopes are linked to video cameras. Two of the three telescopes are 102 cm aperture main telescopes, which are used primarily to search the deep sky for faint, slow-moving objects. The other, a 38 cm telescope, does wide searches of lower altitudes where objects travel at higher relative speeds. The only exception to this configuration is the Diego Garcia site, which has three 102 cm telescopes. The television cameras feed their space pictures into a computer that drives a display device. The computer automatically filters stars from the night sky backdrop, and the satellites appear on the display screen as streaks of light. GEODSS can transmit position and identification signature data to the SSC (in Cheyenne Mountain) in seconds. GEODSS sensors are responsible for over 65 percent of all deep space object tracking and surveillance, and provide almost worldwide coverage of the equator.

User Impact (U):

(U) Any sustained loss of a GEODSS sensor would have dramatic impact on the deep space surveillance mission and maintenance of the space catalogue.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Operational.

(U) Organizations and Funding:

Images (U):

(U) None.

Related Initiatives (U):
NameTitle
Diego GarciaGround-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) at Diego Garcia
MauiGround-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) at Maui
SocorroGround-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) at Socorro
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
NameTitle
Dedicated SensorsDedicated Sensors
Electro-OpticalElectro-Optical
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

NameTitle
National Security Space Road MapIntegrated System Road Map
SPACE CONTROL: S.S. NETWORKSPACE CONTROL: SPACE SURVEILLANCE NETWORK
This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

Name
1997 Space Surveillance Dev Plan
1998 Strategic Master Plan
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Air Force.

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Maj Mike LaPointe, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 325-6422, DSN 221-6422.
(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703)808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 24 September 1998





(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999