Space domain awareness (SDA) describes the knowledge and real-time understanding of resident space objects (RSOs), including those man-made, like satellites, and naturally occurring, like meteoroids. The United States must overcome many technological challenges to achieve SDA dominance in the geostationary (GEO) region. The space beyond Earth's orbit - known as XGEO or cislunar space - is even more difficult to navigate. Fortunately, University at Buffalo researchers are up for the challenge.
How do we plan to improve U.S. space domain awareness? Space Object Understanding and Reconnaissance of Complex Events, or SOURCE for short.
The SOURCE research project — one of two recent nationwide projects funded by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) — aims to develop new theoretical approaches leading to useful algorithms and investigate new sensor concepts with meaningful data and information fusion to provide a revolutionary SDA capability to overcome both XGEO and future SDA challenges within the GEO belt.
SOURCE is funded by the Space University Research Initiative (SURI) program through the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The program was created to spur university research into new technologies for the Air Force and U.S. Space Force (USSF) and encourages collaboration between academia and industry professionals.