Saber Astronautics wins $6m Defence Innovation Hub contract

Space operations company Saber Astronautics, has won a $6.6 million Defence Innovation Hub contract to transform existing space telescopes into space traffic sensors.

Following an initial $2.1 million Defence Innovation Hub contract in 2019, this new contract is for a third phase of development applying advanced algorithms to combine data from multiple different suppliers such as dedicated radars and telescopes.

Saber said the project would leverage Saber’s heritage in artificial intelligence and machine learning, enabling it to identify and track space objects in real-time, more accurately and effectively than before.

Saber Astronautics CEO Dr Jason Held said: “The ability to repurpose existing space telescopes for space traffic management represents a significant leap forward in our efforts to improve space situational awareness and safety.

“We are also excited to bring this technology to the public, so anyone with a telescope using our software can also have a go at tracking objects in space themselves.”

Developed by Sabers’ Australian laboratories, the project benefits from the company’s expertise in space traffic management, as seen in the company’s Responsive Space Operations Center (RSOC, pictured) programme.

This project is a part of a broader initiative to improve space situational awareness and safety of flight.

Initial research used hobby grade telescopes to demonstrate that fusion from multiple small sensors can accurately refine a satellite’s position.

The upcoming phase enables further integration with Saber’s mission control and cloud deployment systems, meaning they can draw from more sensors and more data.

This phase will also include the first live operational trials at the RSOC in 2024.

Picture: Saber Astronautics/Responsive Space Operations Center

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