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SMi Military Space Situational Awareness 2020  Satellite Communications Technology

Saber Astronautics wins RAAF contract for space domain awareness

(29 October 2019 - Saber Astronautics) Australia’s Department of Defence has awarded space engineering company Saber Astronautics a Defence Innovation Hub contract for an intelligent data fusion network to process a large number of space objects.

The contract, valued at AUD $2.1M will use new and existing sensor networks to provide advanced insights in space domain awareness and democratise access to spacecraft location data.

With the number of space objects set to triple over the next decade there are new businesses developing sensors to find objects in space, with telescopes and radars cropping up around the globe. “We even found hobby astronomy groups getting in on the action,” says Saber Astronautics CEO Dr Jason Held. “New satellite companies in the USA and Canada often call Australian astronomers, stressed because they couldn’t find their satellite and needed help.”

Sensors vary widely in size and capability and come from both commercial and government sources. Saber Astronautics will use its decade of heritage with machine learning and data fusion algorithms to merge these myriad types into a single solution. In the network, hobby astronomers can be just as important as the government in identifying satellites.

“This contract represents the beginning of a truly collaborative Space Domain Awareness capability that can encompass many ground-based observations which dozens of cutting-edge companies generate every day,'' explained Saber Astronautics Director Andreas Antoniades. “This project will help everyone have safer missions, protect the planet, and assist with the growing problem of space traffic management.”

Saber Astronautics will begin deployment of early technology tests by mid-2020.