NETRA- ISRO’s new centre for Space Situational Awareness
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has set up the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Control Centre at Peenya, Bangalore. It is a dedicated Control Centre that will help in monitoring, tracking and protecting India’s space assets. SSA is an integral and indispensable part of the safe and sustainable space operations
SSA Control Centre ‘NETRA’
- NETRA stands for ‘NEtwork for space object TRacking and Analysis’.
- NETRA comprises of the components like radar, an optical telescope facility, and a control centre.
- The control centre coordinate between Indian agencies, their foreign counterparts and international bodies.
- It has been established by the Directorate of Space Situational Awareness and Management (DSSAM).
- SSA is the science to track the man-made as well as natural objects moving in the orbit.
- Similar control system has also been set by America, Russia and Europe to track the space objects and share collision warnings.
What was the need of control system?
The setting up of the control system was needed in the light that, space is getting over-populated because of several government satellites, private satellites and man-made space debris. These debris are threat to satellites that are moving around the earth. The real threat is the possible collision of satellites with the debris scattered across the space. It could harm other satellites as well.
Number of satellites in Space
As per NASA, around 2,000 active satellites are orbiting the earth as of January 2020. Also, the space comprises of 23,000 pieces of debris which are larger than 10cm in orbit. Thus, the NETRA project would help in tackling this issue.