Experimental Test Site

The Experimental Test Site is an electro-optical test facility located on the grounds of the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in Socorro, New Mexico. Situated next to the U.S. Air Force's Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance field site, the ETS is operated by the Laboratory for the Air Force. The principal mission of the ETS is the development, evaluation, and transfer of advanced electro-optical space surveillance technologies. It is a national resource that supports measurements and operational surveillance tasking for programs such as those involving near-Earth and deep-space objects. In addition, the sensitive wide-field sensors of the ETS can be used to measure the phenomena resulting from chemical release or other active experiments. The ETS has been a contributing sensor to the U.S. Air Force Space Command. LINEAR, part of NASA's Near Earth Object Program, is using the GEODSS system to discover near-Earth asteroids; nearly 40% of the asteroids with known orbits in our solar system have been discovered through the LINEAR program. Efforts such as LINEAR are conducted without impacting the operational GEODSS site.

The GTS-2 telescope

The GTS-2 telescope is a 1 meter folded prime focus Cassegrain design identical to that of the Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) telescope used by the Air Force for space surveillance.






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