Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

European Space Agency develops radar to watch for space hazards

Date:
July 23, 2010
Source:
European Space Agency
Summary:
As part of the European Space Agency's Space Situational Awareness activities, a new radar system will be developed to help safeguard space missions. The radar will detect hazardous objects in Earth orbit and trigger warnings that enable satellite operators to avoid collisions, making spaceflight safer for all.

When fully operational, Europe's SSA system will generate large amounts of data each day - many terrabytes including orbital debris and satellite locations, Solar radiation and particle fluxes and observations of the space around Earth.
Credit: ESA

As part of ESA's Space Situational Awareness activities, a new radar system will be developed to help safeguard space missions. The radar will detect hazardous objects in Earth orbit and trigger warnings that enable satellite operators to avoid collisions, making spaceflight safer for all.

Related Articles


On 7 July, ESA and Spain's Indra Espacio S.A. signed a contract under which the Spanish company and its European partners will design the future Space Situational Awareness (SSA) surveillance radar and develop a demonstrator radar. The contract is a significant milestone in ESA's SSA Preparatory Programme (SSA-PP).

In the future, the SSA surveillance radar will assist in detecting hazardous objects in low orbits. Early detection of debris is crucial to help warn satellite operators of possible collision risks, enabling avoidance manoeuvres to be made.

The contract includes the design of the future SSA radar and the design, development and installation of a small-scale phased-array radar demonstrator to validate the full-scale radar.

The contract is valued at €4.7 million and will help Europe's space industry maintain its world-class technical expertise.

Fostering European expertise

In addition to managing the project, Indra Espacio is responsible for the design and development of the radar transmitter. Building the radar receiver will be subcontracted to the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques, based in Wachtberg, Germany.

"Both organisations have extensive experience in the design and development of cutting-edge technology for space applications and we are very pleased to be working with them at this early stage of the SSA Programme," said Nicolas Bobrinsky, ESA's SSA Programme Manager.

In a parallel contract with the Agency, Indra Espacio are also surveying a suitable site for the radar to be located in an ESA Member State.

Prompt and precise information

The radar will provide prompt and precise information on objects orbiting Earth. Using these data, a wide range of services will be possible, such as warnings of potential collisions between these objects and operational satellites and alerts on when and where debris enters Earth's atmosphere.

The full SSA system will also make use of a number of optical telescopes together with networked data processing centres to enable the system to observe objects in all populated orbital regions.

While radar technology works most efficiently for the surveillance of objects in low and highly elliptical orbits, optical surveillance is better for objects in medium and geostationary orbits.

About Space Situational Awareness

The SSA Preparatory Programme was authorised at the ESA Ministerial Council meeting in November 2008. Under the SSA, ESA is preparing a capability to watch for hazards in space stemming from possible collisions between objects in orbit, harmful space weather and potential strikes by natural objects that cross Earth's orbit.

SSA will, ultimately, enable Europe to detect, predict and assess the risk to life and property due to remnant man-made space objects, reentries, in-orbit explosions and release events, collisions, disruption of missions and satellite-based service capabilities, potential impacts of Near-Earth Objects, and the effects of space weather phenomena on space- and ground-based infrastructure.

The Preparatory Programme is running from 2009 to 2011/12 and is focusing on governance, data policy, technical requirements and the architecture of a future full European SSA capability.

After the foundation of the Preparatory Programme and based on its results, European ministers will decide on a proposal for the full programme to be readied in the period 2012-19.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Space Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Space Agency. "European Space Agency develops radar to watch for space hazards." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100723093842.htm>.
European Space Agency. (2010, July 23). European Space Agency develops radar to watch for space hazards. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100723093842.htm
European Space Agency. "European Space Agency develops radar to watch for space hazards." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100723093842.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut safely docks with the International Space Station, according to NASA. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Multi-National Crew Safely Docks at Space Station

Multi-National Crew Safely Docks at Space Station

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz rocket delivers a multi-national trio to the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Soyuz Docks With Int'l Space Station

Raw: Soyuz Docks With Int'l Space Station

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) A Russian capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, the United States and Italy has arrived at the International Space Station. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Crew Blasts Off for Int'l Space Station

Raw: Crew Blasts Off for Int'l Space Station

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) A Russian capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, the United States and Italy has blasted off for the International Space Station. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins