NSS Wins International Space Debris Tracking Contract
COLORADO SPRINGS, Col (August 2, 2010) -
Australia’s Innovation Minister Senator, Kim Carr, announced in Canberra on July 14, 2010, that a $4.04 million grant from the Australian Space Research Program to develop the world’s first automated, high-precision, laser-based, space debris tracking system has been awarded to an Australian – United States consortium. The consortium is led by EOS subsidiary, EOS Space Systems Pty., Limited, which includes the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Australian National University, and Near Space Systems, Inc. [Colorado Springs, CO, U.S.A.]. The consortium will apply the grant toward the estimated $9-million cost of enhancing EOS’s current space debris tracking capabilities at Mount Stromlo, Canberra, Australia, to meet current and future space debris tracking requirements.
The project will be led by EOS Space Systems, whose Chief Executive, Craig Smith, said:
"Current space surveillance and tracking systems cannot determine orbits in space with sufficient accuracy to cost-effectively mitigate collisions between satellites and space debris. This project will demonstrate responsive, high-precision laser and optical tracking of space debris, improved space situational awareness for key space assets and fully-remote an automated operatio n of a high-performance laser tracking system."
"These new features, to be demonstrated in early 2012, can significantly reduce the cost of providing debris protection to satellites and will ease the integration of the capability into the operational processes of key users."
Speaking after the Minister’s comments, the Chief Executive of EOS, Ben Greene, said:
"EOS is a world leader in laser tracking of space debris, and from 2003-2007, we undertook important international demonstrations that showed our laser and optical technologies could meet the threat from space debris. Over the past few years, EOS has refined its designs to reduce costs and improve responsiveness."
"This project will position EOS and its partners with an affordable and deployable solution to the space debris threat."
Near Space Systems’s (NSS) role is to manage data conformity and inter-operability issues with U.S. agencies, and to co-develop appropriate concepts of operations as the new tracking capability comes on line. John Hawley, the President of NSS, in response to the award announcement said,
"This effort will build on many years of active collaboration between Australia and the U.S. in the area of space surveillance and debris tracking, including the development and testing of accurate and sensitive laser trackers for space debris. Moving this capability from technology prototype to fully-automated operations could greatly benefit the Department of Defense, NASA and other U.S. organizations involved in space operations."
Hawley went on to state that EOS’s world-leading technology delivers an unprecedented level of detection sensitivity and tracking accuracy for very small objects in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) that is critical to many U.S. space missions. A key objective for this program will be the routine tracking of very small space debris, with a capability that will be operationally-compatible with other emerging U.S. efforts. The project is expected to have far-reaching impact for the United States.
To learn more, please visit: www.globalnearspace.com
John Hawley, CEO