Advanced electroopical sensors and surveillance system technologies are being developed that would lead to future space-based surveillance systems. These multispectral sensors would operate in the visible and MWIR wavebands and be configured to be compact, lightweight, and low power to permit deployment on lightsat-type platforms and launch vehicles. The sensors for multi-spectral space surveillance are small electrooptical systems which use large staring focal planes to provide maximum detection capability through integration. Operation in visible and MWIR bands permit surveillance of satellites in sunlight and in earth shadow. Four to six small satellites with these sensors at low altitude provide essentially instantaneous coverage of orbital space out to geosynchronous altitudes. A baseline sensor design has been derived along with a total sensor payload configuration with size, weight, shape and power requirements compatible with those for a satellite deployed by the Pegasus launch system.
Daniel F. Kostishack,
"Small-satellite sensors for multispectral space surveillance", Proc. SPIE 1495, Small-Satellite Technology and Applications, (1 July 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.45886; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.45886