GMV, Astroscale partner with ESA for Galileo SiS satellite collision avoidance

January 29, 2024  - By
Image: GMV

Image: GMV

GMV and Astroscale UK are collaborating on a new project under the European Space Agency (ESA) collision risk and automated mitigation (CREAM) program. The project aims to transform satellite collision avoidance by using Galileo Signal-in-Space (SiS) capabilities.

As low-Earth orbits (LEO) become increasingly congested, satellite operators face difficulties efficiently carrying out collision avoidance maneuvers. In response, the ESA launched the project to explore alternative paths for late collision avoidance maneuvers. The collaboration uses the Galileo Return Link Service to improve the way satellites respond to collision risks.

Traditionally, communication with satellites for collision avoidance maneuvers has been constrained by the limited availability of ground station access. This limitation forces satellite operators to delay crucial avoidance maneuvers while relying on the final passes of ground stations.

GMV’s solution offers an alternative pathway for late maneuver commanding, designed to reduce the wait time for initiating collision avoidance. The initiative proposes a continuous and reliable communication path by using the Galileo, SiS and its Return Link Service. This approach allows for the seamless relay of collision avoidance maneuver decisions to satellites equipped with onboard Galileo-compatible GNSS receivers.

The Galileo system in this role also opens the door to potential synergy with other space situational awareness (SSA) services, such as the European Space Surveillance and Tracking (EU SST). According to GMV, this strategic collaboration could potentially set the foundation for a globally available collision avoidance service.

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