Analytical Graphics Inc. and Thoth Technology are collaborating to bring the 46-meter radio astronomy antenna at the Algonquin Radio Observatory to the commercial space situational awareness market.
The Algonquin Radio Observatory (ARO), unlike other commercial radars, is able to track objects at Geostationary Earth Orbit and beyond. All radars with comparable capabilities have been government-owned until now.
“Thoth’s digital Earth fence radar can observe space objects up to a range of 50,000 km,” said Caroline Roberts, Thoth President and CEO, in a release. “Thoth is delighted to be partnering with AGI to bring this unique technology to the commercial SSA market.”
Deep space tracking has been traditionally performed using telescopes, but the ARO radar circumvents the daytime optical gap and by-passes weather restrictions that hinder telescopes.
Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI) and Thoth have spend two years putting the radar through operational tests to calibrate and validate performance, and now are collecting observations on objects in and crossing through GEO.
“Commercial SSA continues to move forward, providing huge costs savings and innovative technology faster,” said AGI’s CEO and co-founder, Paul Graziani. “This is an exciting venture which allows ARO full 24/7 collection capability of GEO.”
As stated in the release, AGI and Thoth partnered in 2016 to advance the state of radar tracking of GEO satellites and debris by upgrading the ARO, where Thoth had been providing space tracking and communication services. The radar now expands AGI’s Commercial Space Operations Center’s (ComSpOC) sensor network and subsequently its space catalog by tracking active and debris objects at geostationary altitude, and providing even more timely maneuvar detection.
Thoth Technology Inc. is a Canadian space and defense company that operates the ARO to provide a range of space tracking and communications services. The company also specializes in thermal vacuum and vibration testing to certify equipment for spaceflight and is an award-winning OEM supplier of miniaturized space payloads. For more information, visit www.thothx.com.
AGI develops commercial modeling and analysis software for land, sea, air and space systems which is used by more than 50,000 engineers, operators and analysts worldwide. AGI developed the ComSpoC to deliver the most relevant, timely Space Situational Awareness (SSA), mission assurance and space traffic management services available. For more information, visit www.agi.com.