The U.S. military envisions a day when space telescopes hovering in geosynchronous orbit can take real-time images or live video of any spot on Earth, and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., is working to help make that a reality, according to an Innovation News Daily report on

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is addressing the difficult problem of how to build and launch a space telescope with the huge optics arrays needed to see ground details from high geosynchronous orbit. Ball Aerospace recently completed an early proof-of-concept review for one possible solution: a lightweight array made of a flexible membrane that could deploy in space.

“The use of membrane optics is an unprecedented approach to building large aperture telescopes,” said David Taylor, president and chief executive of Ball Aerospace, which received a DARPA contract for the project worth almost $37 million.