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Air Force Falcon Telescope Installed to Trace Satellites, Deep Space Objects

A 20-inch telescope developed to track satellites, as well as objects moving in deep space, was installed Tuesday at the Grand Mesa Observatory in Whitewater, Colorado.

Optical optics with small aperture are part of the Falcon Telescope Network FTN, a global project led by the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) and 16 different research institutes to install as many as 12 telescopes in four different continents – seven in the United States, two in Australia and one in South Africa, Chile and Germany.

"Telescopes are identical with software and hardware, so each system that is different as part of the Falcon Telescope network is exactly the same," said Francis Chun, USAFA professor who monitored the installation of Whitewater telescope, telling Western Slope Now.

While setting up the same type of telescope all over the world may seem a bit odd, observational hosts can prove critical in providing detailed observations of active satellites as well as removing objects in the cosmos.

In essence, these arrays placed in different strategically selected locations would function collectively to perform continuous observations of a single object at the same time. Researchers can change their viewing angles remotely and then use their observation capabilities to analyze space objects from different perspectives.

This may involve observation and tracking of active satellites in a wide range of lanes as well as investigation of deep space astronomical sources such as an exoplanet, gamma ray exchange, supernova or any other transient that may require simultaneous and immediate follow-up, according to publications of Still Astronomical Society of the Sea. They can learn about the solar system

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