The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity needs market information on technologies that can detect orbital space debris currently undetectable using available methods.
IARPA said Thursday in a request for information notice posted on SAM.gov that it seeks white papers on methods with the potential to enable tracking of orbital debris sized from 0.1 to 10 centimeters.
Current technology cannot track small objects because of high angular velocity and the need to remain in staring mode to count passing objects. The U.S. Space Surveillance Network’s traditional ground sensors can detect 10-centimeter objects at a 2,000-kilometer altitude in low Earth orbit and one-meter objects at an altitude of 35,786 kilometers in Geostationary Earth orbit.
The agency wants to understand how data on orbital debris interactions can address the gaps of current orbital tracking technology.
Interested parties must consider sensor types, physical orbital phenomena, specialized sensor collection modes, probabilistic detection techniques and resolution-boosting capabilities in their white papers.
IARPA will accept responses to the RFI through March 11.