ESA Selects Indra to Space Situational Awareness Radar System
[Satellite TODAY 10-05-10] The European Space Agency (ESA) commissioned Spanish information technology specialist Indra to design a radar system prototype for ESA’s Space Situational Awareness program, Indra announced Oct. 4.
The two-year, $7.3 million contract will see Indra develop a system prototype that can detect objects in low-Earth Orbits (LEO) between 200 and 2,000 kilometers as well as a simulator program to test the system. Indra also will determine the appropriate location for the radar system and help ESA determine the structure and amount of equipment needed so that costs can be estimated.
The program is intended to increase security of space missions in the event of collisions with orbiting objects, magnetic storms or meteors. The project falls under a European Union space exploration strategy to undertake surveillance of nearby orbits and monitor distant zones.
“Knowing the trajectory of orbiting objects accurately is of the utmost importance as the consequences of a collision with a satellite can be quite damaging. Besides this, [the radar system] will help study the space weather since certain phenomena such as solar or magnetic storms affect electronic devices in space and on earth,” Indra said in a company statement.