The Sutter Extreme is the step up from the Sutter Survey. The Sutter Extreme boasts six, larger cameras, and an infrared camera, allowing it to find smaller asteroids more quickly and more precisely. Additionally, it will use laser communications to send enormous amounts of data back to Earth. The Sutter Exteme is estimated to be able to discover more than seven thousand asteroids a year, six hundred of which would be viable candidates for asteroid mining.
The first Sutter mission consists of launching three satellites at 0.95 AU, 120 degrees from each other. They will orbit the sun facing out towards the asteroid belt, scanning for new asteroids. Each Sutter satellite will contain 4 cameras, quadrupling the light capturing capabilities of the Theia. The Sutter satellites will operate with similar software and hardware to the Theia mission, but at a larger scale.
Congress has mandated that NASA find 90% of all near earth objects over 140 meters by the end of 2020. At the current rate of discovery and operation costs, NASA will fail to meet this mandate without the assistance of TransAstra. Trans Astra has developed the Compound Synthetic Tracker (CST), which makes use of advancements in electronics, CubeSat technology, laser communications, and off-the-shelf optics for camera zoom lenses. The first space mission concept proposed is based on CST is the Sutter Survey, named after Sutter’s Mill which first struck gold, leading to the California gold rush.