GSTC 2023

OKAPI:Orbits to Pilot ESA potential Commercial Collision Avoidance Services

Credit: OKAPI:Orbits

Ibadan 22 December 2022. – The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected OKAPI:Orbits to assess the provision of potential future external conjunction assessment support services. The selection is under a pilot scheme testing and complementing ESA’s existing and established collision avoidance processes. ESA currently uses the collision avoidance processes for its SWARM mission.

OKAPI:Orbits will provide complementary services through its commercial space traffic management platform and cover risk monitoring and collision avoidance services. The services have designs that will enable automated collision avoidance for customers and reduce the necessary humans in the loop for decision-making and avoidance maneuver selection.

Aside from the service provision, the activity entails preparing key performance criteria to evaluate the application of external conjunction assessment services for ESA’s internal processes. As a result, the outcome will assist in preparing for and defining a potential complementing conjunction assessment service for ESA missions. These will serve as inputs to define service level agreements for a potential follow-on activity and to further develop commercial collision avoidance services for OKAPI:Orbits customers.

“This one-of-a-kind outsourcing and commercial service purchase is a lighthouse statement for the European Space Industry and shows ESA’s support of commercial space activities and innovative technology,” said Kristina Nikolaus, Co-Founder of OKAPI:Orbits and chair of the working group “Sustainable Space” of the German NewSpace Initiative.

ESA’s goal is to assess the capabilities of commercial collision avoidance services for potential use in the future. For this, ESA has selected three companies for service evaluation.

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