The latest volume in the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Series is released

The book chronicles Lincoln Laboratory's seminal research and development of technology for space surveillance.

by the Communications and Community Outreach Office

Image of the cover of Perspectives in Space SurveillanceMIT Lincoln Laboratory announces the publication of Perspectives in Space Surveillance, an overview of R&D the Laboratory began in the 1970s to enable the detection and tracking of the growing array of man-made resident space objects (RSOs) in deep space. In 1957, Lincoln Laboratory, using the high-power Millstone Hill Radar at a field site in Westford, Massachusetts, had detected Sputnik I and, in 1958, the next three launches of Soviet satellites. When, in 1972, the Soviet Union launched a satellite into deep space, the U.S. space community recognized the need for technology capable of detecting and monitoring RSOs further into space. Lincoln Laboratory, with its experience in sensor technologies, was ready to take on this challenge.

The authors of Perspectives in Space Surveillance are all key participants in efforts to develop space surveillance technologies that allow the nation to detect, observe, and catalog RSOs. As space has evolved into a vital arena for communication networks and environmental monitoring systems, detailed space situational awareness has become critical to protecting U.S. satellites and maintaining national security.

Topics discussed in the book include narrow-beam, narrow-bandwidth radar for deep-space surveillance; wide-bandwidth radar for RSO monitoring; ground-based electro-optical deep-space surveillance and its adaptation for space-based surveillance; and methods for analyzing signature data from narrow-bandwidth radars. The authors also describe some unintended byproducts of this pioneering work, for example, the use of optical space surveillance techniques for near-Earth asteroid detection.

Perspectives in Space Surveillance is the fifth volume in the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Series, a collection that presents the Laboratory's fundamental research conducted in support of national security. Published by MIT Press and authored by Lincoln Laboratory scientists and engineers, occasionally with contributions from colleagues in academia and industry, the books are resources for researchers, engineers, and university educators and students.

The book may be purchased online through MIT Press at

Posted June 2017


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