ESA Space Debris Telescope

ESA Space Debris Telescope

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The ESA Space Debris Telescope is located at the Teide Observatory
Teide Observatory
The Observatorio del Teide is an astronomical observatory on Tenerife operated by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. Opened in 1964, it became one of the first major international observatories, attracting telescopes from different countries around the world because of the good astronomical...

 on the island of Tenerife
Tenerife
Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the seven Canary Islands, it is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 km² and 906,854 inhabitants, 43% of the total population of the Canary Islands. About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The telescope is ESA's Optical Ground Station forming a part of the Artemis
Artemis (satellite)
Artemis is a geostationary earth orbit satellite for telecommunications, built for and owned by ESA. The Artemis satellite operates at the 21.5E orbital position....

 experiment. As a large part of the observation time is dedicated to space debris surveys, in particular the observation of space debris
Space debris
Space debris, also known as orbital debris, space junk, and space waste, is the collection of objects in orbit around Earth that were created by humans but no longer serve any useful purpose. These objects consist of everything from spent rocket stages and defunct satellites to erosion, explosion...

 in the geostationary ring
Geostationary ring
The geostationary ring is a volume segment around the geostationary orbit defined by variations in altitude and declination that can occur for uncontrolled objects left in the geostationary orbit....

 and in geostationary transfer orbit
Geostationary transfer orbit
A geosynchronous transfer orbit or geostationary transfer orbit is a Hohmann transfer orbit used to reach geosynchronous or geostationary orbit....

s, the term ESA Space Debris Telescope became used very frequently. Space debris surveys are carried out every month, centered around New Moon.

The telescope is a Ritchey-Chrétien telescope
Ritchey-Chrétien telescope
A Ritchey–Chrétien telescope is a specialized Cassegrain telescope designed to eliminate coma, thus providing a large field of view compared to a more conventional configuration. An RCT has a hyperbolic primary and a hyperbolic secondary mirror. It was invented in the early 1910s by American...

 with an aperture of 1 m and field of view of 0.7 degrees, equipped with a cryogenically cooled mosaic CCD-Camera of 4k*4k pixels. The detection threshold is between 19th and 21st magnitude
Apparent magnitude
The apparent magnitude of a celestial body is a measure of its brightness as seen by an observer on Earth, adjusted to the value it would have in the absence of the atmosphere...

, which corresponds to a capability to detect space debris
Space debris
Space debris, also known as orbital debris, space junk, and space waste, is the collection of objects in orbit around Earth that were created by humans but no longer serve any useful purpose. These objects consist of everything from spent rocket stages and defunct satellites to erosion, explosion...

 objects as small as 15 cm in the geostationary ring
Geostationary ring
The geostationary ring is a volume segment around the geostationary orbit defined by variations in altitude and declination that can occur for uncontrolled objects left in the geostationary orbit....

.

See also

  • European Space Agency
    European Space Agency
    The European Space Agency , established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 18 member states...

  • Space debris
    Space debris
    Space debris, also known as orbital debris, space junk, and space waste, is the collection of objects in orbit around Earth that were created by humans but no longer serve any useful purpose. These objects consist of everything from spent rocket stages and defunct satellites to erosion, explosion...

  • ESA Space Debris Office
  • Optical Ground Station
  • NASA Orbital Debris Observatory
    NASA Orbital Debris Observatory
    NASA Orbital Debris Observatory or NODO was an observatory that hosted NASA-LMT, a 3 meter diameter aperture liquid metal telescope and astronomical survey funded and operated by NASA from 1995 to 2002 in New Mexico, USA. It was a zenith or transit telescope pointed straight up, that used 20...