[Via Satellite 12-05-2014] XTAR, a commercial X-band satellite operator, is providing an X-band space segment for NASA’s Ka-band Objects: Observation and Monitoring (KaBOOM) project. KaBOOM is a high-power Ka-band radar system under development to track and characterize Near Earth Objects — primarily asteroids, but also orbital debris around the planet.
The X-band capacity XTAR is supplying will be used to test techniques for phase-alignment of multiple large antennas. The technologies created as part of KaBOOM will help develop a radar system that can track asteroids and other objects during daylight hours when optical telescopes are rendered unusable. XTAR is supplying the X-band space segment until Oct. 1, 2015.
According to XTAR, data from KaBOOM will generate data that can address capability gaps, collection and operational needs for NASA and other agencies. Congress mandated that NASA discover 90 percent of all near-Earth objects 140 meters in diameter or greater by 2020 in NASA Authorization Acts from 2005 and 2008.