Neuraspace and Arcsec partner to detect space debris

Oct. 18, 2023
It will enable customers of Neuraspace to receive detailed information available about potential collision risks in low Earth orbit (LEO).

COIMBRA, Portugal - Neuraspace, a provider of space traffic management (STM) technology based in Coimbra, Portugal, announced it has partnered with Arcsec, a provider of star trackers in Leuven, Belgium, for a novel way to detect space debris, enabling it to track smaller objects and improve orbit calculations.

Neuraspace and Arcsec will utilize Arcsec’s space-based star trackers for the detection and characterization of space debris and resident space objects. It will enable customers of Neuraspace to receive detailed information available about potential collision risks in low Earth orbit (LEO). As a result, they can protect their space assets, contribute to the protection of the orbital environment, and avoid costly service interruptions.

As part of the partnership, Neuraspace will use data from Arcsec’s star trackers to enhance its STM solution. Processing the data will allow Neuraspace to analyze the movement of and assess the risk posed by even minuscule debris particles down to three centimeters in size. This precision will turn Neuraspace’s STM system based on artificial intelligence (AI) into a highly-accurate system for risk assessment.

Arcsec's star trackers use optical sensors onboard their satellites to determine spacecraft attitude.  The brightness information about space objects from these star trackers also provides crucial insights into the size of detected debris. Arcsec's solution doesn't require dedicated satellites with specialized payloads. Instead, the debris is detected using the same sensor that determines the spacecraft's attitude, ensuring accurate debris orbit calculations.

Another feature of Arcsec's star trackers is their re-programmable capability in orbit. This means that already-launched sensors can be enhanced with space situational awareness (SSA) functionality, and the network can be updated while in orbit.

"This strategic partnership with Arcsec marks a giant step towards space sustainability," Chiara Manfletti, Director and COO of Neuraspace, said. "Using Arcsec's cutting-edge star tracker technology to access in-space data will revolutionize space traffic management and safeguard space assets more effectively. Together, we are advancing the frontiers of space-based debris detection. Even a tiny piece of space debris can already pose a significant threat to space missions and assets. With the ability to detect and characterize space debris with unmatched precision, Neuraspace is poised to lead the way in ensuring the safety and long-term viability of space activities."

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