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Darpa’s Giant Folding Spy Satellite Will Dwarf All Other Space Telescopes

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posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 02:41 AM
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www.wired.com...

Spying could become much easier if a new lightweight, folding satellite concept gets off the ground.

Darpa, the military’s futuristic research agency, says it has plans to “break the glass ceiling” of space telescopes by shooting a new design into orbit that’s made of plastic and unfolds into a mammoth satellite that would dwarf the world’s most famous telescopes.

Darpa’s Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) program redesigns the traditional glass telescope into an orbital telescope that’s bigger and lighter than previous imaging satellites, making it easier to spy on larger areas and for longer periods of time.

Launched as a tightly packed cluster of petals 20 feet in diameter, MOIRE stretches to 68 feet across once it reaches 22,000 miles above the earth. From orbit, MOIRE could view approximately 40 percent of the earth’s surface at once while recording high resolution images and video, making it the ultimate spying satellite (Darpa notes that it could also be beneficial in weather forecasting and disaster response).





Up to this point, high resolution imagery has required large-diameter mirrors, but the thick, heavy glass is difficult to make and expensive. According to Darpa, to keep up, the glass mirrors are rapidly approaching the point where they will be too large, heavy and costly for even the largest of today’s rockets.

“Membrane optics could enable us to fit much larger, higher-resolution telescopes in smaller and lighter packages,” said Lt. Col. Larry Gunn, Darpa program manager, in a statement. “In that respect, we’re ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ that traditional materials impose on optics design.”

Instead of reflecting light with mirrors or refracting it with lenses as traditional space telescopes do, MOIRE’s membrane — roughly the thickness of kitchen plastic wrap — optics diffract light.

And because MOIRE is so much lighter and smaller at launch, Darpa thinks the program will be budget-wise and more efficient.

“We’re hoping our research could also help greatly reduce overall costs and enable more timely deployment using smaller, less expensive launch vehicles,” said Gunn.

Darpa says the MOIRE program is in its second and final phase and recently demonstrated a ground-based prototype that implemented several critical aspects of the project.

The sizes of the Spitzer, Hubble, Webb and Keck telescopes show there’s no comparison to what the MOIRE telescope could cover:




edit on 11-12-2013 by CaptainBeno because: video error

edit on 11-12-2013 by CaptainBeno because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 02:43 AM
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Seems video may not work....Grrrrr.

Please refer to link to watch. Thanks!

Cpt



posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 03:37 AM
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reply to post by CaptainBeno
 


Imagine what they can detect....
S&F.



posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 07:28 AM
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They've (DARPA) probably already deployed and is operational. Reminds me of ARGUS IS, (Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System) only is a terrestrial spy system.

thanks for posting. Snf



posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 07:51 AM
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when i watched that video i thought it was an advertisement for a medicine that will solve erectile dysfunction
, that thing needs a huge condom by the way


looks to me now they want to reed our lips maybe ? those freaks



posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 09:42 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 09:54 AM
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reply to post by Wide-Eyes
 


Look who's talking looool , wait until that huge telescope orbits the earth , that will really creep you for sure



posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 09:58 AM
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humm wonder why it took solong to think of this?
good id ? just be sure your bedroom blinds are closed .



posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 01:23 PM
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If you dig a little deeper it's resolution is ONE METER (you get far better from leo satellites) from its orbit it will see 40% of the Earth's surface but it will still have to be directed to what they want to watch because the target field of view will be small.

s&f capt



posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 03:34 PM
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I'm personally spooked out by this. I'm sure it won't be used for good.



posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 04:49 PM
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CaptainBeno
www.wired.com...

Spying could become much easier if a new lightweight, folding satellite concept gets off the ground.

Darpa, the military’s futuristic research agency, says it has plans to “break the glass ceiling” of space telescopes by shooting a new design into orbit that’s made of plastic and unfolds into a mammoth satellite that would dwarf the world’s most famous telescopes.


And if only we had it to study exoplanets we'd likely find life within a decade.

Priorities. Better to spy on you I guess.

Looks suspiciously like the cancelled NASA Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph (TPF-C) (though much different optically).



(cancelled) NASA Terrestrial Planet Finder Page

The terrestrial planet finder would have likely found life on any nearby Earthlike planets which had it.

It was cancelled back in 2006.
Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph Page at JPL/NASA

Yes, it pisses me off too.

To see why, read this ATS thread: Why the Black Budget is Bad for Science....


SMH
edit on 11-12-2013 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2013 @ 06:06 PM
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Arken
Imagine what they can detect....
S&F.

No more taking out the garbage without pants on for me!



posted on Dec, 12 2013 @ 06:30 AM
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reply to post by Blue Shift
 


Don't worry at ONE meter resolution little blue won't be seen




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