Project Description

SAFETY OF FLIGHT

There are approximately 1,000 active satellites orbiting the Earth. In addition, there are about 21,000 known pieces of space debris that are tracked and reported – and hundreds of thousands of debris objects not tracked or reported. The numbers of active and planned satellite constellations is growing at an accelerating rate, along with the amount of debris. The preservation of space as a natural resource to operate in depends on how well safely we can operate in this ever more complex environment. ExoAnalytic Solutions recognized this challenge to the space industry and fielded a global network of telescopes to provide tracking data necessary to develop a space object catalog supporting safety of flight services for satellites operating in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO), and Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO).

CONJUNCTION WARNING

The first step to improving safety of flight is informing operators of the potential risks they face.  ExoAnalytic Solutions utilizes our catalog of MEO, GTO, HEO, and GEO satellites and debris to provide timely and accurate conjunction warnings to space operators.  Conjunction warnings include the estimated time of closest approach along with state-vectors and covariance estimates for threatened objects

CONJUNCTION SECONDARY SCREENING

Collision avoidance maneuvers in response to a conjunction or collision warning are costly to execute and often require a significant amount of planning, analysis, and difficult decision-making. This effort can be mitigated in many cases by improving the operators understanding of the true collision risks for an upcoming conjunction. Secondary screening utilizes dedicated telescopes to refine the orbit position and reduce the position uncertainty for secondary objects reducing operator analysis effort and reducing the number of unnecessary maneuvers.

FREQUENT CONJUNCTOR MONITORING

Satellite operators routinely receive conjunction warnings for objects that frequently pass near their satellites. We call these objects frequent conjunctors. For frequent conjunctors, we produce a very high-fidelity orbit fit through frequent monitoring. This high-fidelity orbit fit is provided to operators regularly to enable proper planning and preparation for these regularly occurring close approaches.