Project NETRA: ISRO to step up tracking of space debris

What is the News?

Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO) is building up its orbital debris tracking capability by deploying new radars and optical telescopes under Project NETRA.

What is Project NETRA?

Initiative: ISRO

Full-Form: NETRA stands for Network for Space Object Tracking and Analysis.

Purpose: It is an early warning system in space to detect space debris and safeguard India’s functional satellites in low-earth orbits.

Facilities under this Project: Under NETRA, ISRO plans to put up many observational facilities such as:

– Space debris tracking radar: It will be capable of detecting and tracking objects 10 cm and above in size. It will have a range of 1,500 km.

– Optical telescopes: These will be inducted as part of establishing an effective surveillance and tracking network.

– Data processing units. 

Space Situational Awareness Control Centre.

What is Space Debris?

Space Debris consists of rocket bodies that are used to launch satellites, defunct satellites, materials released during mission operations, fragments from on-orbit breakups of space objects, and fragments from Anti-Satellite (ASAT) tests.  

These space objects move with an average speed of 27,000 km per hour in Low Earth Orbits, therefore, a collision with even a centimetre sized tiny fragment can be catastrophic to an operational space asset.

According to ISRO, the volume of space debris is likely to go up in the coming years with the increase in space missions globally. Globally, 2021 saw the highest space object-to-launch ratio. In other words, more space objects are placed in orbit per launch.

Source: This post is based on an articleISRO to step up tracking of space debrispublished in The Hindu on 31st March 2022.

Print Friendly and PDF