US: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is currently in the final phase of building and testing a giant, groundbreaking satellite called Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploration (MOIRE) program. Darpa’s Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) program redesigns the traditional glass telescope into an orbital telescope that’s bigger and lighter than previous imaging satellites, making it easier to spy on larger areas and for longer periods of time. The futuristic satellite would be capable of recording high resolution images and videos. The satellite will not only be helpful in worldwide surveillance but also in weather forecasts and disaster response.
The satellite will be made of plastic, which is significantly cheaper and lighter than glass. Until now, high resolution imagery has been done with heavy, thick and expensive glass that is often found in traditional space telescopes. “We’re hoping our research could also help greatly reduce overall costs and enable more timely deployment using smaller, less expensive launch vehicles,” said Lt. Col. Larry Gunn, Darpa program manager.