The Problem This Solution Solves
Currently, there are more than 1,500 satellites, 17,000 objects greater than 10 centimeters in diameter, and more than 150 million smaller objects orbiting Earth. With debris traveling in excess of eight kilometers per second, even the smallest of these objects can cause significant damage and potentially disable a spacecraft in orbit. Moreover, space control and traffic management are manpower-intensive activities, requiring automation to improve capacity and safety.
This DIU project augments the U.S. Air Force’s current Space Domain Awareness/Battle Management, Command and Control (SDA/BMC2) architecture with a Commercially Augmented Mission Operations (CAMO) layer. Focus areas include catalog maintenance; routine and dynamic sensor tasking; conjunction assessment; processing of events such as launches, maneuvers, anomalies, and breakups; and any other SSA/BMC2 mission. The LeoLabs solution is one of multiple prototypes pursued as a part of this project and is focused on delivering a real-time information feed about satellite activities in low Earth orbit (LEO) derived from a commercially provided network of phased-array radars. This information expands awareness of the LEO regime to facilitate the U.S. Space Command’s mission of monitoring on-orbit threats and rapidly responding to changes in the threat environment.