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State-of-the-art software to catalogue space debris for the German Space Agency

By Eric Van Rees - 5th November 2021 - 06:50

Following a European open call for tenders, the technology multinational GMV, European industrial provider of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST), has been awarded a new contract by the German Space Agency at DLR for developing progressive and advanced SST data processing algorithms for the German Space Situational Awareness Centre (GSSAC), located in Uedem, Germany.

To foster the development of an SST capability in Europe, the EU established in 2014 (through decision No. 541/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 16, 2014) a Framework for Space Surveillance and Tracking Support. The aim of this Support Framework is to develop an independent SSA/SST capability in Europe by EU SST. Since then, the incipient national SST capabilities in the countries within the EU SST consortium (Germany, France, UK, Italy, and Spain since 2016, as well as Poland, Romania and Portugal since 2019; the UK left the consortium in 2021 post Brexit) have been federated in a coordinated manner: EU SatCen acts as front desk for the SST services provided by the EU SST consortium.

This new project is part of the data processing activities within EU SST under the German Space Agency’s responsibility. Its main objective is to develop, validate and integrate advanced orbit propagation, orbit determination, and data correlation algorithms aimed at achieving an overall improved catalog build-up and maintenance capability, based on GMV’s experience and capabilities in the field. This cataloging capability is one of the main responsibilities of DLR as part of the German contribution to the EU SST system.

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