The Space Regulatory and Sustainability Platform draws information from LeoLabs network of four phased-array radars to show the location of objects in orbit and highlight potential problems.
New Zealand Space Agency and LeoLabs, Inc. have signed a multi-year agreement to develop a cloud-based software platform for monitoring space activity. New Zealands Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment announced the deal and said it would lead to the worlds most advanced Space Regulatory and Sustainability Platform.
The platform will improve the ability to implement responsible stewardship of space by commercial and public sector space entities.
LeoLabs, a Silicon Valley startup focused on monitoring activity in low Earth orbit, began developing the platform with the NZSA in 2019.
Speaking about the agreement, Dr Peter Crabtree, General Manager of Science, Innovation and International, said: Our partnership with LeoLabs has allowed us to better understand whats in space, which is key to upholding our duties as a launching country and ensuring the responsible use of the space environment. Our partnership with LeoLabs helps put us at the forefront of monitoring satellites and taking a sustainable approach to the use of space. We look forward to continuing to work together in the years ahead.
Dan Ceperley, CEO and Co-Founder of LeoLabs, added: Our investment and activities in New Zealand, including the Kiwi Space Radar, have been a string of successes, both in terms of supporting the goals of MBIE, but also of projecting New Zealand onto the global stage as a leader in space sustainability. We appreciate the opportunity now to take this to another level and operationalise the Regulatory and Space Sustainability Platform. This is truly a model for every other space agency around the world.
The cloud-based platform uses data from LeoLabs global radar network, one of which is based in Naseby, to continuously monitor satellites in low Earth orbit.
The Space Regulatory and Sustainability Platform draws information from LeoLabs network of four phased-array radars to show the location of objects in orbit and highlight potential problems. Following a pilot phase, NZSA has embedded the platform into its space operations to track the position and orbit of individual satellites, view historical orbit records, obtain reports on changes in satellite orbits and receive alerts when a satellite is not complying with its licensing agreement.
The partnership between MBIE and Leolabs was brokered through the Innovative Partnerships programme, and in October 2019 LeoLabs unveil their first next-generation space radar in Naseby, Central Otago. The phased-array radar tracks small satellites and space debris the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.