UK Space Agency funds tech for orbital awareness - BBC News
Sep 15, 2020 1 min, 4 secs

New approaches to tracking satellites and debris in orbit are to get a boost from the UK Space Agency.

A big worry is the burgeoning population of redundant hardware and junk in orbit - some 900,000 objects larger than 1cm by some counts, and all of it capable of doing immense damage to, or even destroying, an operational spacecraft in a high-velocity encounter.

"Space surveillance and tracking is one of the key things we can do to keep safe those satellites we rely on now, and to make sure certain orbits don't become inaccessible for future generations because there's too much debris in them.

While a lot of these projects are still at the lab stage, D-Orbit's work is dedicated to pushing the capability of some of its hardware already in space

The company recently launched a vehicle to carry and deploy a clutch of small satellites

The funding announcement also coincides with the signing of a new partnership agreement between the Ministry of Defence and UKSA to work together on space domain awareness

"By developing new AI and sensor technology, the seven pioneering space projects we are backing today will significantly strengthen the UK's capabilities to monitor these hazardous space objects, helping to create new jobs and protect the services we rely on in our everyday lives."

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