Isdefe presented its Test-Bed Telescopes (TBT) project at the Military Space Situational Awareness Meeting in London. The project involves the design, construction and start-up of two completely automated optical telescopes intended to track and search for space debris and asteroids.
The presentation was given by Aitor Ibarra Ibaibarriaga, an Isdefe engineer, senior software data analyst for the XMM-Newton telescope, and a software architect. He is stationed at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Villafranca del Castillo (Madrid).
The Test-Bed Telescopes project is being conducted for the European Space Agency (ESA). One of the telescopes was recently installed at the ESA’s satellite tracking station in Cebreros (Ávila), and is currently in the commissioning phase, during which the hardware and software components of the astronomical observatory are fine tuned. This is the final phase before the observatories are delivered. This project is part of the ESA’s General Support Technology Programme (GSTP), and is co-financed by the Spanish, German and Czech delegations.
Attendees were able to present solutions and share experiences on monitoring space objects, both natural (NEOs) and artificial (space debris), as well as on gathering, processing and managing the information obtained from the observations made of these space objects through optical and radar telescopes. Attendees also had the opportunity to speak about various scenarios for collaborating on observing these types of space objects and how to overcome current challenges through cooperation, research and development projects. Now in its 11th year, the conference was held on 18 and 19 April in London and brought together military officials and industry specialists from numerous countries and agencies.