This ground-based space domain awareness sensor system is being deployed in the Sierra Mountains, California, in the United States and has been tailored to tackle the challenges of low-Earth orbit optical observation. LOCI provides critical observation data on objects in low-Earth orbit, including space debris, defence assets and commercial spacecraft.
“By deploying LOCI, we are expanding our existing sensor network internationally to improve our coverage and, ultimately, our awareness of what is occurring on orbit,” explained Sean Goldsbrough, head of Raytheon NORSS. “These intelligently selected locations will increase the quantity and quality of data we’re collecting and allow our customers deeper insights into what is happening with and around their assets of interest and the overall space environment.”
The Sierra Mountains are an ideal location for deployment given their minimal light pollution and cloud coverage, allowing LOCI to capture high quality images with limited environmental interference. Further international locations are already under discussion as the Raytheon NORSS team looks to expand its capabilities in coming years.
“The space domain already shapes our way of life, and our ability to monitor and support assets in orbit is critical to ensuring space continues to yield the technological benefits we associate with it,” Goldsbrough said. “With the global deployment of LOCI, a technology that places Raytheon at the forefront of space-based technologies, we can provide our partners with a more comprehensive picture of what is taking place in low Earth orbit”.
LOCI was developed by Raytheon NORSS in Northumberland, UK using internal research and development funding.