New Guide Star Laser Technology Developed

EOS has achieved a major break through in laser technology which significantly advances the global effort to mitigate space debris

The innovation involves the use of a 'guide star laser' to allow high speed adaptive optics to form laser beams that can track and move space debris at lower altitudes and faster speeds than ever previously possible. This intellectual property has been developed by EOS in collaboration with the Space Environment Research Centre ("SERC"), and will now be commercialised and owned by EOS, with applications including space debris mitigation and high bandwidth satellite communications.

On 8 April, the Nine Network covered the ground breaking guide star laser technology as an exclusive story on its evening news.

Speaking at the operational launch of the new laser capability in Canberra, Dr Ben Greene, Group CEO of EOS, said:

“Space debris is a major societal threat, globally but especially in Australia due to our heavy economic dependence on space assets. For decades EOS has been a world leader in the tracking and classification of space debris. Our accurate, dynamic database of space objects is the key pre-requisite for the active manipulation of those space objects from the ground using lasers, but this capability has long been out of reach, requiring major advances in technology.

EOS progressively researched and developed the required technologies until, in 2014, we initiated an international collaboration (SERC) to accelerate the final stages. This research has recently concluded as planned and expected, and the remote manipulation of suitable objects in space can now be undertaken.

EOS already makes a major contribution to mitigation of the space debris threat through our accurate space debris tracking, but after international coordination we expect to make a further contribution by actively moving hazardous debris from impact trajectories.

The reduction in risk from space debris has broad societal benefits as well as direct benefits to EOS, as a satellite proprietor and space operator.”

Photo credit: Ian Ritchie, EOS Space Systems. Image of guide star laser captured during filming of Nine Network News Exclusive Story on 8 April 2021.

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