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RTX’s Low Earth Orbit observation system tasked to track UK space assets

Source: Raytheon UK

Raytheon NORSS, RTX’s UK-based space domain awareness specialist, has been awarded a contract to provide the UK Space Agency with Space Surveillance and Tracking Services Data (SST) in low-earth orbit (LEO) for Resident Space Objects (RSO).

 

The UK Space Agency, in partnership with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), works to ensure that UK assets can continue to operate safely and sustainably in space. It does this by detecting, identifying and tracking objects in orbit and relies on accurate data on the position, velocity and trajectory of objects to mitigate risks.

This contract, for the routine delivery of observation data, will expand and improve the UK’s sovereign space domain awareness capabilities and enhance the UK Space Agency’s ability to keep UK assets in orbit safe from possible dangers, such as collision or fragmentation events.

 

 

To deliver on this contract, Raytheon NORSS has increased the international deployment of its Low Earth Orbit Camera Installation (LOCI) sensors to provide a wider, more comprehensive picture of objects in low-earth orbit. The LOCI sensor network will now be operated out of multiple locations in the UK, US and Australia.

“We are delighted to be continuing our close partnership with the UK Space Agency and providing space surveillance and tracking data to the UK” said Sean Goldsbrough, head of Raytheon NORSS. “Our high quality, timely and assured SST data is enhanced by our recent international expansion of LOCI, which allows us to deliver greater frequency and volume of data to the UKSA and MOD ”.

This announcement comes off the back of the news that Raytheon NORSS has also been selected, alongside intandem, to produce a ten-year strategy for the UK Space Agency’s National Space Operations Centre (NSpOC).

 

 

A key objective of the centre, which is due to open in April 2024, is to enable the UK to deliver its space domain awareness responsibilities.  It will do this through three operational pillars – OBSERVE, ANALYSE and ALERT – and Raytheon NORSS has been tasked with developing the OBSERVE pillar.  This will deliver the ability to understand the space environment based on information provided by sensors and data from commercial, international, and other actors.

“Harnessing our expertise in SST and space domain awareness puts us in a strong position to help the UK effectively develop its long-term approach to observing our space environment,” added Goldsbrough. “Our continued investment in sovereign solutions will improve the UKs knowledge of the satellite population and create high value jobs in the North-East.”

 

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