Bisei Spaceguard Center

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Bisei Spaceguard Center

The Bisei Spaceguard Center was established solely to track asteroids and space debris. This debris, along with defunct spaceships, satellites as well as other small objects can present a hazard to operating spacecraft. The Bisei facility was constructed in 2000 in Bisei, Okayama by the Japan Space Forum (JSF) with contributions by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. All expenses of the center are covered by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The telescopes which keep track of any space debris are manned by members of the Japan Spaceguard Association. Besides the spaceguard center, the facility also includes an astronomical observatory.

The 1-meter Cassegrain telescope has a field of view of three degrees and there are plans to use a mosaic of ten CCD detectors each one of which will have dimensions of 2096 x 4096 pixels. A 0.5-meter telescope with a field of view of 2 x 2 degrees began operations in February 2000. Once the 1-meter NEO search telescope begins operations, the 0.5-meter telescope will be used to provide follow-up astrometric observations.

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