MOUNT TEIDE has been selected by the European Area Agency as the location to test the laser, being fired at room debris from old rockets plus satellites, left in the Earth’ h orbit.

The rubbish is considered capable of causing damage to satellites, as well as to the International Space Train station, and the ESA says the problem is escalating, with collisions becoming impossible to avoid, or even to attempt to control.

The laser is housed within the Observatory at Izañ a, in the building in The Optical Ground Place (OGS).

The OGS, installed in the Teide observatory, two, 400 metres above sea degree, was built as part of the European Room Agency’ s (ESA) long-term attempts for research in the field of inter-satellite, optic communications.

The original reason for the station, equipped with a telescope (1m aperture), was to perform the particular in-orbit test of laser telecoms terminals, on board satellites in Lower Earth Orbit and Geostationary Umlaufbahn.

The ESA study of Space Debris in the Geostationary Orbit and the Geostationary Transfer Umlaufbahn, since 2001, has also being performed with a devoted, wide-field camera, mounted on the Ritchey-Chretien focus.

Also, around one-third of the watching time is used for basic, astronomical research from ESA and IAC science teams, with dedicated musical instruments, either in the coudé or within the Ritchey-Chretien foci.

The particular Optical Ground Station was inaugurated in 1995. The Instituto sobre Astrofí sica de Canarias, which usually took part in the integration from the station instruments, has since experienced charge of the station operation.

Since January 2001, ESA-ESOC has been carrying out periodic survey advertisments of the space debris in GEO and GTO.

This really is ESA’ s contribution to the globally, common efforts for this task, along with NASA and NASDA (National Aeronautical and Defence Agency of Japan).

The ESA, planning a laser telescope to track area junk, is planning to fire this at the debris considered most likely in order to foster problems, causing it to start a descent through the atmosphere, exactly where it will burn up and disintegrate.

Rafael Rebolo, director from the Canarian Astrophysics Institute, which includes the ESA facility within the Observatory, said: “ The new telescope is really a prototype experiment to test that the laserlight can achieve linear communication with a fairly small piece of rubbish (under 10cm), and get it to move and be pulverised in the atmosphere. ”

Rebolo hopes the facility is going to be operational within four years, providing as a basis for other lasers to be used, consistently, to clear the areas the majority of populated by space junk.