The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) space situational awareness satellite Sapphire has completed its operational testing and has been officially declared a contributing sensor to the U.S. Space Surveillance Network.
Data from this satellite will be incorporated into an international catalogue that is used to help prevent collisions in space. Sapphire will help safeguard over a trillion dollars of critical space assets such as telecommunications, weather, search and rescue, and earth observation satellites, as well as the Global Positioning System.
With the declaration of full operational capability, Sapphire will enter its five-year operational phase. Notably, the program has delivered all required capabilities for approximately
- Sapphire monitors space objects orbiting between 6,000 and 40,000 kilometres above the Earth's surface on a 24-hour basis.
- Unlike land-based sensors, Sapphire is not affected by weather conditions and cloud cover.
- By monitoring space from space,
"Given the reliance of
"With the Sapphire satellite system now fully operational, the risk of collisions between space objects will be significantly reduced. Sapphire will help protect our critical space assets in support of Canadian Armed Forces operations both at home and abroad."
Backgrounder - Space situational awareness and the Sapphire satellite http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=space-situational-awareness-and-the-sapphire-satellite/hr0e3oag
- News Release - The Canadian Sapphire satellite is successfully launched http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=the-canadian-sapphire-satellite-is-successfully-launched/hie8w7n8
- News Release - Minister MacKay officially marks departure of the Canadian Sapphire satellite http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=minister-mackay-officially-marks-departure-of-the-canadian-sapphire-satellite/hgq87xi8
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