BAE Systems Infra-Red division at Southampton, UK reports that infrared detectors aboard a satellite-based telescope in orbit are operating successfully.

The detectors, designed by scientist Richard Custer, are aboard an infrared telescope built by the Defence Evaluation & Research Agency (DERA), which is designed to detect aircraft from space.


The telescope is one of 12 instruments aboard the US Air Force's Tri-Service Experiments, TSX-5 satellite which was aboard a Pegasus booster air-launched from a TriStar mother craft on 7 June.

The BAE detector comprises two linear arrays, cooled to 80degK by a Stirling engine to eliminate thermal noise. The arrays are push-broom scanned by the motion of the satellite to generate images of the Earth.

Frame differentiation is then used to reveal aircraft movement, potentially providing data on speed and direction information.

Source: Flight Daily News