The JP9360 Tranche 2 project is designed to allow Australia to identify threats to its satellites and monitor man-made and natural space debris. It’s hoped the development would mean less reliance on global allies, such as the United States.
The new partnership hopes to meet these objectives by using ground-based telescopes across ExoAnalytic’s global sensor network of 350 telescopes.
The instruments are expected to be operated by Boeing Defence Australia staff from an Australian Command Centre, while also taking advantage of ExoAnalytic’s US Command Centre.
ExoAnalytic’s telescope network is billed as the world’s largest space domain awareness sensor network, designed to monitor, interpret and predict the position and behaviours of man-made space objects in orbit around the Earth.
“These services help our customers to operate more safely and sustainably by identifying and providing alerts for objects behaving anomalously or creating potential threats such as collision risks,” Dr Douglas Hendrix, CEO of ExoAnalytic Solutions, said.
“Even the smallest item of space debris can decommission a satellite. The capability of ExoAnalytic’s global telescope network to see very small and very dim objects is well beyond most ground and space systems.”
ExoAnalytic’s support is an extension of its current work providing the US government, including the US Joint Task Force Space Defense, with space awareness capability.
“Our JP9360 offering will provide a low risk, robust, and sovereign ability to detect, track, identify and characterise space-based events to support Australia’s freedom of action in space,” Dale McDowall, Boeing’s director of global business development, said.
“The ExoAnalytic network is also rapidly extendable – with new sensors able to be added cheaply and quickly.”
ExoAnalytic has also committed to bring its Ground-Based Optical Space Domain Awareness system to Australia in a bid to offer new opportunities for local industry.
“ExoAnalytic has been investing in building telescope sites in Australia for some years and has established a network of more than 70 ground-based telescopes across 10 sites, bringing smart work into regional communities,” Dr Hendrix added.
Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.
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