Space Force Plans Multiple Hosted Payloads for GEO Belt Monitoring

WASHINGTON: While Space Force has chosen Tucson-based GEOST to build a first prototype, the service envisions future competitions for stand-alone sensors that could be carried on military, commercial or potentially even foreign satellites to monitor Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO), according to a senior official.

Jack Barnett, chief of Space Systems Command’s Space-Based Space Domain Awareness (SDA) Branch (SSC/ECZGZ), told Breaking Defense in an email that the plan is to eventually develop a “diverse offering of SDA capabilities.”

In particular, the Space Force is looking for cheap, light-weight electro-optical cameras to keep tabs on spacecraft in the high-value GEO belt (some 36,000 kilometers in altitude) that could fly as so-called hosted payloads on any number of satellites. GEO is where most communications satellites, military and commercial, currently operate.

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