Site Testing for a Far-North Optical/Infrared Telescope

Wallace, B. et al., 2008, Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference, E7 | View on ADS (2008amos.confE...7W)


Earth-observing satellites are often placed in sun-synchronous, polar orbits. Such orbits converge near the Earth's poles, allowing a high latitude space surveillance sensor to perform high-cadence monitoring of the orbit and status of these spacecraft. A high latitude optical/infrared sensor would complement existing space surveillance radar sensors, but has not been seriously considered due to the lack of a potential site. Recently, a small number of astronomical observing sites, possibly suitable for placement of optical and infrared sensors, have been identified on Ellesmere Island in Canada (latitude 82 degrees North). Three of these sites, located above the local inversion layer and on mountains near the coast, are undergoing initial assessments using wind-powered environmental sensors and sky monitoring cameras. This paper will discuss the site testing equipment and plans, review some initial results, and briefly discuss the potential benefits for both astronomy and surveillance of space.


This publication has been tagged as:

Site/Northern Canada
Type/Instrument design

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