On July 24, the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute and Geochang County, South Gyeongsang Province signed the “Agreement on Installing the Laser Ranging Observation Infrastructure and Science Infrastructure.”This agreement has been arranged to initiate the construction of a “Fixed Type SLR System (ARGO-F)” which can protect the national space assets from any space wreckage.
Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) is a system to measure the distance between Earth and a satellite by shooting laser at the satellite then calculating the time taken to receive the reflected light. This newly developed system is the most accurate ranging method yet for measuring the satellite distance, and can be divided into fixed type and movable type depending on its mobility.
“Fixed Type SLR System (ARGO-F)” increases the size of the telescope from the 40 centimeter movable type SLR System to about one meter. Additionally, its higher laser output reaching 200 ~ 36,000 kilometers (stationary orbit) allows a more precise distance measurement, regardless to the satellite’s laser retroreflector array installation. It can also track space wreckage of up to 20 centimeters in size, thus providing superior advantage to the field of space surveillance. Especially, its ability to video record the satellite shape is anticipated to contribute greatly to the national space development business.
The actual construction of the observation infrastructure will begin next January when the land purchase and design planning process complete and continue until February 2015. Dr. Lim Hyeong-chul of Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute said, “Once ARGO-F is completely installed, its surveillance ability will serve a great purpose in protecting the national space assets from threatening space wreckage."