5:05am

Mon August 20, 2012
Science

Colorado Company Helps Track Space Junk

Outer space is more congested than ever and now one Northern Colorado company is working with the Air Force to help catalog space debris.

Loveland-based Numerica Corporation has strong ties with the military and works primarily in missile defense and cyber security. But with a $3.3 million dollar contract they’ll be creating new algorithms to update the current cataloging system that was developed in the 1960s.

Dr. Josh Horwood is a research scientist at Numerica…

“Right now, current sensors can see things down to about the size of a grapefruit. In about five to ten years sensors will be able to see things down to about 1 cm in size or the size of a penny. This will increase the number of things that need to be tracked from about 20,000 right now to about 200,000 objects in the future.”

Horwood says keeping better track of existing space junk will prevent future collisions which can be costly and in turn create even more space debris.

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