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Hensoldt And Fraunhofer Team Up to Develop Space Radar Capabilities

By Mark Holmes | February 3, 2023

The German Experimental Space Surveillance and Tracking Radar. Photo: Hensoldt

Hensoldt is going to partner with Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Technology (FHR) in the area of space surveillance radars. It is a significant partnership for the German space industry as they look to develop their capabilities in this area. The two companies announced the partnership Feb. 2.

The two companies have the aim of transforming the technology demonstrator GESTRA (German Experimental Space Surveillance and Tracking Radar) into a series-production ready, operationally deployable system called Custodian. Hensoldt has acquired the necessary licenses from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and concluded a cooperation agreement.

The prototype was developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Technology FHR on behalf of the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The radar is currently in operation at the Schmidtenhöhe site training area near Koblenz, where it is providing initial proof of performance. Another component of the DLR contract is, among other things, the commercialization of the technology by a suitable industrial partner.

“This project is a beacon of German capability, founded on close cooperation between cutting-edge research and a high-tech company. It enables Germany to build an important national capability in the field of a key technology and at the same time make a valuable contribution to international partnerships,” Peter Schlote, member of the Hensoldt executive committee and head of the Radar Division, said in a statement.