Australia: Under a new strategic cooperation agreement, Lockheed Martin and Electro Optic Systems are developing a new space object tracking site in Western Australia that will paint a more detailed picture of space debris for both government and commercial customers. The site will use a combination of lasers and sensitive optical systems like those found in telescopes to detect, track and characterise man-made debris objects. Electro-optical technologies that can zoom in on specific objects form a strong complement to radar-based systems like the US Air Force’s Space Fence, which will sweep the sky and track 200,000 objects.
Drawing on advanced sensors and software, the new site will focus on specific objects and determine how fast they’re moving, what direction they’re spinning, and what they’re made of. “Ground-based space situational awareness is a growing priority for government and commercial organisations around the world that need to protect their investments in space. Through this agreement with Electro Optic Systems, we’ll offer customers a clearer picture of the objects that could endanger their satellites, and do so with great precision and cost-effectiveness,” said Rick Ambrose, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. “The partnership with Lockheed Martin will help both organisations establish a global network of space sensors, while simultaneously increasing the market reach of the partners’ data and services. We consider the strategic partnership with Lockheed Martin a major step towards the achievement of critical mass of sensors, data and services, all of which are critical in providing detailed yet easily usable information on space debris,” said Electro Optic Systems Chief Executive Officer Ben Greene.
Source: Lockheed Martin