in Space

UK commits new funding to combat space debris

Posted 27 May 2020 · Add Comment

The UK Government has committed funding for innovative solutions to tackle the growing problem of potentially hazardous space debris.



Above: Artist impression of a satellite breaking in space causing space debris.
Courtesy ESA

There are an estimated 900,000 pieces of space debris larger than 1 cm orbiting the Earth, with only a small proportion of them tracked.

The UK Space Agency is providing up to £1 million for organisations to come up with smart solutions to this problem by using cost effective ways to monitor objects in low Earth Orbit, or applying artificial intelligence to make better use of existing orbital data.

Tracking debris allows satellite operators to predict possible collisions so that they can manoeuvre them out of harm’s way. One collision could create thousands of small, fast-moving fragments which can damage the satellites that provide everyday services such as communications, weather forecasting or satellite navigation.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: "From artificial intelligence to advanced tracking systems, the UK space industry is leading the way in developing ground-breaking solutions to worldwide problems.

"Today’s funding will enable businesses to develop cutting-edge innovations to combat the growing amount of space debris orbiting the Earth – helping protect vital services like communications, weather forecasting and satellite navigation."

The UK is committed to the international effort to clean up space debris as the largest investor in space safety for the European Space Agency, including a substantial £10 million commitment to the ADRIOS (Active Debris Removal/In orbit servicing) programme. Later this year, Harwell, Oxfordshire, will host the operations centre for the ELSA-d satellite clean-up and decommissioning programme led by Astroscale.

Dr Alice Bunn, International Director, UK Space Agency, said: "We want the UK to be at the forefront of a new era of space where we continue to push boundaries while ensuring the growth is sustainable for all.

"Space debris is a global problem and this funding will enable UK companies to develop new methods to help tackle the issue. Growing our space surveillance and tracking capabilities will be crucial for UK space businesses to innovate safely and sustainably in the future."

The new funding is part of the UK Space Agency’s plans to grow its national space surveillance and tracking (SST) capability and, working with international partners, become a global leader in space sustainability.

Organisations will be able to bid for a maximum  grant award  of £250,000, out of a £1 million funding pot. Space surveillance and tracking is a growing international market, forecast to potentially reach over £100 million by 2035. With the demand for SST increasing, this provides an opportunity for the UK space industry to take a leading role in the sector.

The UK Space Agency is leading work across government to develop a comprehensive UK Space Strategy and to launch a new National Space Innovation Programme, which will fund transformative technologies and generate high-skilled jobs across the country.

The call for applications is open from 26th May 2020 and will close on 10th July 2020.

 

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

PSG and Pexa become Addev Materials Aerospace & Defense

In 2019 Graytone Group's Pexa and PSG - distributors of surface finishing materials and chemicals to the aerospace industry - were acquired by French owned chemicals distribution and custom packaging specialist, Addev Materials and

TT Electronics to acquire Torotel

TT Electronics has agreed to acquire Torotel, a US-based designer and manufacturer of high-reliability power and electromagnetic assemblies and components for the aerospace and defence markets.

DIO's CTCRM project in Devon marks major milestone

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) project to build new accommodation for personnel at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) in Devon has celebrated a major milestone.

European Commission called upon to implement EU Testing Protocol

Over 20 travel and tourism bodies as well as unions across Europe united today in an unprecedented call for European Commission leadership to replace quarantine restrictions with an EU Testing Protocol for Travel in a bid to save the

UK’s first UV treatment of security trays installed at Gatwick

Gatwick is the first airport in the UK to treat its security trays with enough UV light energy to guarantee a 99.9% microbe disinfection rate – protecting passengers and staff and reducing the spread of coronaviruses, including COVID-19

Loganair links Dundee Airport with Belfast City Airport

The first flight on the new Loganair service between Dundee Airport and George Best Belfast City Airport took off for the first time today.

Getac SK2606280920
See us at