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        important for both civil and military ap- plications. In civil context, SSA refers to tracking of objects in orbit and predict- ing where they will be at any given time. In military context, the SSA role is to generate current and predictive knowl- edge of space events and enable military to gain and maintain space superiority across all the spectrum of conflicts. To augment SSA capability requires estab- lishing distributed network of ground and space-based sensors (multi-object tracking RADARs, optical telescopes, RF & Laser Ranging Systems)
The Space Fence radar facility devel- oped by the US Space Surveillance Net- work (SSN) can detect, track, catalogue and identify artificial objects orbiting earth, e.g. active/inactive satellites, spent rocket bodies, or fragmentation debris. Space Fence will revolutionise the way of viewing space by providing timely, pre- cise orbital data on objects that threaten both manned and unmanned military and commercial space assets. Russia is planning to develop space surveillance satellite that will monitor space along with a network of 65 ground-based op- tical telescopes that will help it identify potential threats and collision hazards in an accurate and timely manner by 2027.
India has the technology for multi- object tracking in LEO using Phased Ar- ray RADAR. The ground-based Multi Object Tracking Radar (MOTR) has been developed by ISRO for simultane- ous tracking capability of 10 objects up to a maximum range of 1,000 km for an object size of 0.25m. This can be ex- ploited for the SSA system. Many Indian institutions have optical telescopes for astronomical observations. The Vainu Bappu Observatory in Kavalur, Tamil Nadu, and the Aryabhatta Research In- stitute of Observational Sciences (AR- IES), Nainital, Uttarakhand, have suc- cessfully used their 1.3m IR telescopes to track and image the GSAT-6A Indian satellite. Indian Astronomical Obser- vatory, Hanle, Ladakh, has also used its IR telescope for tracking navigation satellites of India.
It is good to note that ISRO has al- ready entered into an agreement with ARIES for cooperation in the field of
Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Astrophysics. In addition, ISRO and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have agreed to explore oppor- tunities for cooperation in “SSA and professional exchange programme”. ISRO has also initiated a Project NE- TRA (Project Network for space object Tracking and Analysis) which is aimed at monitoring, tracking and protecting India’s space assets. It will consist of a radar, an optical telescope facility, and a control centre for SSA.
The SSA implementation in India for military will require close coordina- tion, collaboration and asset networking of defence organisations (viz. DRDO, NTRO), civil space organization (ISRO), astronomy institutes and meteorological observation stations across India. It re- quires establishing a network of ground and space-based sensors (Multi-object tracking RADARs, optical telescopes, RF & Laser Ranging Systems) to effec- tively augment the SSA capability.
Former President and missile man
Mission Shakti missile is developed to attack satellites through warheads
Dr A P J Abdul Kalam had visualised the future military operations to be based on our scientific and technological compe- tence in the development of communica- tions satellites, high precision resource mapping satellites, missile systems, unmanned super-sonic aerial vehicles, and electronics and communication systems. This capability will enable the military to succeed in the electronically controlled warfare in the midst of space encounters, deep sea encounters, and ballistic missile encounters. To fulfil the vision of our great scientist, India is al- ready developing military satellites with Command, C4ISR capabilities, Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system and anti- satellite weapons.
The exploitation of outer space is in- creasing and becoming an essential com- ponent for all the military operations, communications, navigation and timing, and much more. Adopting space technol- ogy and its command and control could surely give the country edge over others during strategic and tactical operations.
*The writer is Outstanding Scientist, DRDO, where he has been working for the past 30 years. He has vast research experience and has successfully executed several major Electronic Warfare and Space based Projects for the country.
  Space Fence will revolutionise the way space is viewed by providing data on objects that threaten our assets.
        Image Courtesy: Internet

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