RapidEye, a leader in high-resolution, wide area repetitive coverage of earth through its constellation of five satellites, announced today that it is now using the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Collision Probability Assessment Service.
This service, which will be used to support RapidEye's daily satellite operations, will supply valuable information about other spacecraft or space debris that may interfere with the orbital path of its satellites. The information is supplemented with a recommendation as to whether RapidEye should perform a collision avoidance maneuver by adjusting the orbit of one or more of its satellites.
“Situational awareness and collision avoidance in space are issues of growing importance to all satellite operators. We are very pleased that we are now in a much stronger position to actively mitigate this risk for our satellites,” commented Michael Oxfort, RapidEye's Chief Technology Officer. “ESA will inform us approximately three days before an object could become a danger. This will give us sufficient time to apply our optimized operational procedures.”
ESA has been using this information for its own missions for several years. RapidEye is the first commercial satellite company to partner with ESA for this service.
“ESA feels privileged to help RapidEye guarantee a flawless service to their customers, while at the same time supporting them in operating their satellites in an environmentally-conscious manner. ESA's Space Debris Office has 25 years of experience in the analysis of space debris related risks. Collision alerts and avoidance maneuvers are one important aspect to protect valuable satellites against the space debris environment, and protect the environment against adverse effects from collisional break-ups,” said Heiner Klinkrad, Head of ESA’s Space Debris Office.