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US building Star Trek-style flight deck to monitor threats from space

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Darpa

The US Department of Defense is working on a new Star Trek-style flight deck that would allow commanders to keep track of the hundreds of thousands of objects currently cluttering the earth’s orbit and even track threats from beyond.

The so-called Hallmark Software Testbed project seeks to build a command and control centre that will enable agencies to potentially spot threats from space.

With the intuitive UI offering 3D visualisation and simulation capabilities would make it possible to follow items in a real-time environment and even simulate potential conflicts.

The tools currently used to monitor objects in orbit were developed when there were far fewer in the sky and are thus no longer as effective.

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“The volume of Earth’s operational space domain is hundreds of thousands times larger than the Earth’s oceans,” explains DARPA in a press release (via Mirror).

“It contains thousands of objects hurtling at tens of thousands of miles per hour. The scales and speeds in this extreme environment are difficult enough to grasp conceptually, let alone operationally, as is required for commanders overseeing the nation’s increasingly critical space assets.”

The Advanced Research department is seeking to build the platform to support “multiple levels of security classification.”

Brad Tousley, director of DARPA's Tactical Technology Office (TTO), which oversees Hallmark said: "We envision a system that would fuse information from diverse sources and vastly reduce the overall time required to make and execute decisions and observe results.

"For example, an intuitive user interface incorporating 3-D visualization technology would present complex information in novel ways and provide commanders with unprecedented awareness and comprehension."

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