Tracking space debris - Leo Labs

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From Tech Crunch:

Leo Labs and its high-fidelity space radar track orbital debris better than ever — from New Zealand
Ask anyone in the space business and they’ll tell you that orbital debris is a serious problem that will only get worse, but dealing with it is as much an opportunity as it is a problem. Leo Labs is building a global network of radar arrays that can track smaller debris than we can today, and with better precision — and the first of its new installations is about to start operations in New Zealand.

There are some 12,000 known debris objects in low Earth orbit, many of which are tracked by the U.S. Air Force and partners. But they only track debris down to 10 centimeters across — meaning in reality there may be hundreds of thousands of objects up there, just as potentially destructive to a satellite but totally unknown.

And the Leo in their name stands for Low Earth Orbit - their mission statement:

Mission
LeoLabs’ mission is to secure commercial operations in low Earth orbit (LEO). As the LEO ecosystem around our planet gets more congested, the risk of collisions rises, and the need to map the orbits of spacecraft, satellites and space debris grows with every launch. Meanwhile, new generations of commercial spacecraft, such as small and cube satellites, are causing a dramatic increase in imaging, communications and human spaceflight prospects.

LeoLabs was founded to address these risks today. With a worldwide network of ground-based, phased-array radars that enable high resolution data on objects in LEO, LeoLabs is uniquely equipped to offer foundational mapping data and services to mitigate the risks of collisions. These services include rapid orbit determination, early operational support, and ongoing orbit awareness. LeoLabs is a venture-funded company based in Menlo Park, CA, and provides its services to commercial satellite operators, government regulatory and space agencies, and satellite management services firms.

This is much better than waiting for NASA to do it - Leo Labs will do a high-tech lean and cheap implementation. NASA is pure bureaucratic bloat. They are not nimble any more. It was good to have the government funding the moon launches but privatizing space is the way to go. Weyland-Yutani anyone?

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