Astroscale wins Dstl funding for exploration of future Space-Based Space Domain Awareness missions

Posted February 16th, 2023 Posted in News

Harwell, Oxford, UK, February 16, 2023 – Astroscale Ltd. (“Astroscale UK”), the UK subsidiary of Astroscale Holdings Inc. (“Astroscale”), the market leader in satellite servicing and long-term orbital sustainability across all orbits, has won funding from Dstl (The MOD Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) to explore space-based space domain awareness (SB-SDA) mission concepts for launch in the 2030s. 

Astroscale Ltd. formed the winning consortium teaming with Raytheon NORSS and SJE Space Ltd for the project. The aim of the study is to advance knowledge of space-based space domain awareness (SB-SDA) through a comprehensive review of the current technologies and techniques that are used in SB-SDA missions and an analysis of how these will progress over the coming decades. 

The study will seek to explore a variety of areas including SB-SDA future developments to 2030 and beyond, SB-SDA Mission Analysis and an assessment of space-based vs. ground-based capabilities for SDA. The work will help improve understanding of how existing SB-SDA technologies are anticipated to progress over time to address current and anticipated future SDA capability gaps.  

“The Astroscale UK SSA team is very pleased to have won this Dstl funded study,” said Mekhi Dhesi, Astroscale SSA Solutions Engineer. “The study will allow us to grow our SB-SDA / ISSA expertise and provide the opportunity for further exciting collaboration with Raytheon NORSS and SJE Space.”  

The consortium has been awarded £100,000 for the study and has substantial experience in SDA, having worked with prominent SSA companies such as Fujitsu and Raytheon NORSS on several government funded Space Surveillance Tracking (SST) projects.  

Space consultancy, SJE Space, has acted as one of the technical coordinators of the Global Network On Sustainability in Space (GNOSIS) for the past three years and has coordinated GNOSIS workshop events focusing on the topic of SB-SDA. Raytheon NORSS, a business unit within Raytheon UK, specialises in innovative space solutions, providing end-to-end SDA capability and is dedicated to developing relevant UK skills and experience to support long-term space operations. 

Astroscale Ltd. is leading the development of several missions in support of space sustainability and including SSA capability, notably the ELSA-M servicer, which aims to remove multiple failed satellites from Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Astroscale’s Docking Plate will enable the future-proofing of LEO satellites for potential End-Of-Life services.