March 31, 2023


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Obserwatorium ma pomóc także w zapewnieniu bezpieczeństwa kosmicznego (fot. Sven Creutzmann/Getty Images)

A new astronomical observatory in Podkarpacy

Tracking satellites and space debris, as well as conducting scientific research, are the main tasks of the new astronomical observatory to be built in Bizmichawa in the Podkarpasa region. With the ever-increasing number of satellites, the observatory helps avoid collisions and ensure space safety.

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The construction of the new observatory came as a result of an agreement signed by the Polish Space Agency and the Rzeszów University of Technology.

As president of POLSA, A. Grzegorz Wrochna, from the agency’s point of view, the main objective of the observatory will be to find and track Earth satellites in the sky. – With the ever-increasing number of satellites, it is necessary to avoid collisions and ensure the safety of space – he adds.

Satellite detection and tracking (i.e. SST – Space Monitoring and Tracking) is one area that the agency deals with on a daily basis.

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Access to sea surface temperature observations from sensors with an appropriate geographical distribution is critical to maintaining awareness of conditions in space and sea surface services. POLSA uses feedback from external entities based on contracts and agreements as well as feedback from its own sensors in Australia. The POLSA chief explained that it was planned to develop a network of sensors in several other places, as well as in remote locations.

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In the context of the tasks of the future observatory, experts note the growing problem of the so-called space debris. These are things that remain in orbit after completing their mission and threaten other satellites that are still active (because they can no longer be controlled). Since human activity in space is dynamic, there are more and more such creatures in space. The new tool will also play a role in this area. – The mission of the SST is to monitor all man-made objects in near-Earth space – including those that can no longer be used for operational missions, such as inactive old satellites, launch rocket elements, impact debris and others – said the professor. Wrochna.

Telescopes with a high level of automation

The new telescope will also provide important new opportunities from the point of view of science and education. The observatory will be equipped with professional astronomical telescopes – eventually with a significant level of automation. Therefore, they will be well suited tools for carrying out a variety of tasks, including research and scientific tasks – emphasized the head of POLSA.

According to the announcements, the observatory will be built within a few months. In the first stage, a single dome will be created, in which the telescope will be located, which is now ready. In Bezmiechowa, in the building of the Academic Gliding Center PRz, there are a total of four domes. – Perhaps in the future there will be more telescopes – announced Wrochna.

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The tool will operate largely automatically, making observations independently according to a programmed schedule, or monitoring the weather and closing the roof if necessary (eg in the event of rain). You will not need a trigger to operate it.

Rzeszów experts to participate in its creation.

– This ambitious undertaking will make it possible to use the infrastructure, research and scientific potential of the staff of the Rzeszów University of Technology, who have been specializing in, among other things, in the field of aviation and space. Professor says. Doctor Hub. M. Piotr Koszelnik who signed the agreement next to the University of Technology.

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– Aviation and Astronautics is one of the leading scientific disciplines at the Rzeszów University of Technology, which is linked to the presence of the aviation industry in the region. Aerospace science is a natural outgrowth of the relationship with the aerospace industry and research is conducted at our university in this field. He added that this very important initiative should enhance the potential for growth of research in the field of space and satellite technologies.

The location of the observatory in the indicated area has another advantage. In the Polish climate, it is about 50-80 sunny nights every year. In addition, perimeter light pollution and air pollution hamper monitoring operations. The Bieszczady Mountains, near which Bezmiechowa is located, provide the best conditions for observing the sky.

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