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‘Citizen Science’ exercise to track satellites

The UK has announced the latest phase in a ‘citizen science’ program designed to track satellites in geostationary orbit. EX Argus 2 will see scientists from the UK’s Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) team with Australian amateur astronomers to examine affordable options for tracking operational and retired satellites using existing, commercially available telescopes and cameras.

For EX Argus 2 DSTL scientists will team with astronomers from the Tamworth Regional Astronomy Club (TRAC) in NSW to observe and track satellites from the southern hemisphere. EX Argus 1 saw DSTL team with the Basingstoke Astronomical Society in the UK.

The TRAC team will use a restored and upgraded 34-inch Hewitt camera/telescope designed in the UK in the late 1950s to monitor the first generation of satellites; this was transferred to Australia in the 1960s to support the UK space program at Woomera.

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