LeoLabs Unveils Dedicated Phased-Array Radar for Tracking Space Debris

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LeoLabs, Inc., the leading commercial provider of data to track debris and prevent collisions in low Earth orbit (LEO), today announced completion of the next addition to its network of phased-array radars. The Midland Space Radar (MSR), located in Texas, is now operational and providing high resolution orbital data on LEO-based satellites and debris.

“This milestone demonstrates our aggressive execution model for building a global network of radar sites to map objects in LEO,” said Dan Ceperley, CEO of LeoLabs. “In combination with data already provided from our Alaska site, the MSR brings our coverage of known LEO objects up to 95%, and improves our ability to provide high resolution data on a commercial service platform.”

According to LeoLabs, keeping pace with the sheer number of satellites and debris orbiting in LEO requires frequent observations. “This is precisely the benefit of an additional dedicated radar site such as our Midland Space Radar,” explained Mike Nicolls, founder and CTO of LeoLabs. “With the MSR, not only do we increase our coverage, we add thousands of additional observations to our LEO data set.  And we will not stop here,” continued Nicolls. “We are already scouting sites in the high Northern and Southern latitudes, as well as equatorial areas, to expand even further. Our mission is to reach 100% coverage of orbital debris, and make our data a foundation for securing the emerging LEO economy.”

Currently, LeoLabs has customer engagements underway providing services that include Initial Orbit Determination, and Collision Avoidance. The primary market for these services are commercial satellite operators in LEO, as well as government agencies and satellite management service firms.

Construction of the Midland Space Radar began only six months ago. In September 2016, LeoLabs inked agreements with the Midland City Council and Midland Development Corporation to locate in Texas and promote the new MSR facility. “The City of Midland has been an outstanding partner for us in rapid execution on this critical step forward,” said Ceperley.  Brent Hilliard, CEO of the Midland Development Corporation, confirmed, “LeoLabs exemplifies our mission of attracting innovators in the space industry who can diversify and grow the Midland economy.”

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