Slingshot Aerospace announces collision avoidance platform for space

Aug. 16, 2021
Slingshot Aerospace acquired startup Stellatus Solutions LLC to accelerate the launch of Slingshot Beacon, a tool designed to help global spacecraft owners and operators collaborate and communicate.

AUSTIN - Slingshot Aerospace, Inc. announced the launch of Slingshot Beacon, a collision avoidance collaboration and communications platform for space, which will be piloted by OneWeb, Spire Global Inc., Orbit Fab and others. The players participating in this pilot program account for 53% of satellite constellations in low earth orbit (LEO). Slingshot Beacon will be used as a centralized communication and coordination platform to resolve on-orbit conjunctions, notify others about planned maneuvers, and more.

Slingshot Beacon connects operators across different organizations on a single platform, which has never been done before. It provides customers with existing positional data and packages it in a digestible way with all the necessary information to resolve a conjunction. The tool will improve transparency, safety, and sustainability in space for all owner-operators, helping to ensure high risk conjunctions are appropriately mitigated.

As an industry, there are 115,000 satellites planned to enter space by 2030, which means more potential collision avoidance decisions will need to be made. Slingshot Beacon is designed to be an end-to-end communications and collaboration platform to help mitigate those potential risks, and facilitate safer satellite operations as the domain becomes more congested. Presenting critical data in a more digestible way will enable owner-operators to make better decisions faster, giving governments and the public more confidence in safe space operations as the number of objects in space grows.

Slingshot Beacon was inspired by the guard channel, a special radio frequency that is monitored 24/7 for mayday alerts or other calls for help. The technology is orbit agnostic, and can help organizations monitor their assets, like space vehicles and satellites, in and through all orbits, LEO to the moon. In addition, Slingshot Beacon enables users to protect their assets in space by providing an actively curated directory of operator contact information; reports on environmental anomalies; community alerts for planned maneuvers; and conjunction data messages (CDMs) and ephemeris sharing (or accurate object position sharing).

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