In 2022, for the first time in history, the private sector launched more tonnage into space than the world’s governments, and SpaceX’s Starlink broadband constellation is the most important reason why.
SpaceX’s broadband satellites had to change trajectory more than 25,000 times between December 2022 and May 2023 to avoid potential collisions, double the number of maneuvers in the previous six months .
Since 2019, the total number of maneuvers has exceeded 50,000 movements.
According to ESA estimates in its latest Space Environment Report, low-Earth orbit will be cluttered with more than 50,000 objects larger than 10 cm by 2100.
“By combining advanced detection capabilities with cutting-edge data analysis techniques, Share My Space enables proactive measures to be launched to protect satellite operations. This valuable information enables satellite operators and space agencies to make informed decisions on avoidance maneuvers and mission planning, while avoiding unnecessary energy-intensive operations” – Alexis Petit, CTO of Share My Space.
Share My Space, a young space company with a vision for Europe and the world.
Share My Space, a young French entreprise pioneering the space security ecosystem, envisions a bold future for the world in space through the use of independent, reliable commercial data for space surveillance. Faced with the growing challenges posed by the increasing number of satellites, rocket launches and the large amount of debris in orbit, the need for independent, reliable data is fundamental. Share My Space’s orbital information techniques, powered by state-of-the-art sensors, enable accurate and efficient tracking, monitoring and protection of space assets.
Founded in 2017, Share My Space has been selected by the France 2030 investment plan in the space sector. The company’s patented technologies include the MTOS, a multi-telescope observation station. Share My Space has two MTOS stations in France and one in Morocco, with a future target of six operational MTOS stations.
By actively monitoring space debris and collision risks, Share My Space helps satellite operators and space agencies to manage threats and adjust orbital trajectories. Protecting space assets not only ensures the provision of essential services, but also avoids disruptions that can have serious economic and societal consequences. Share My Space’s commitment to safeguarding space assets plays an essential role in ensuring a prosperous and secure future for Europe, with increased strategic autonomy.
Romain Lucken, co-founder and CEO of Share My Space, regularly refers to the political will to regulate Space: “There is public awareness and support for regulating Space, and regulations are being discussed and monitored internationally – Share My Space has become one of the promoters of this regulation for better management of space traffic in Europe and worldwide. We make this possible by observing and analyzing data, so that regulators can finally understand what’s going on up there. This service enables satellite operators to resolve anomalies and anticipate collisions”.
The process for meeting this challenge has already been identified. First, detection services identify objects of concern so that they can be tracked. Next, satellite and launch vehicle operators use this data to protect existing assets and limit pollution. Finally, in-orbit service providers reduce existing risks and remove the most problematic objects. Share My Space actively participates in the first two aspects of this action, thanks to its proprietary sensors and orbital information system. Share My Space also supports active debris removal services. Share My Space’s mission is to protect space assets and guarantee the viability of space operations.
Share My Space multi-telescope observation stations are a modular optical system that enables the detection, tracking and characterization of all space objects in view, in all orbits. Thanks to powerful on-board processing algorithms, it constantly scans the sky.
How does it work?
Our system consists of 4 passive telescopes, located at the same observation site, rotating synchronously. Their rotation speed is coordinated with the transit time of objects in the field of view to ensure that all space objects are detected, even at low altitudes of up to 300 km.Each telescope has its own remote-controlled mount, meaning that all 4 telescopes can also be controlled independently to further track and characterize specific objects.
Monitoring patterns can be modified throughout the night to capture objects in the most efficient way. Precise preliminary orbits are obtained using just a few images captured within seconds of each other. We exploit this data to obtain precise orbit estimates and detect maneuvers.
Our multi-source system catalog provides daily orbital data on a range of space objects, including measurements, preliminary orbits, adjusted orbits and potential orbital maneuver detection. Our catalog also includes information such as the visible magnitude and rotation speed of certain objects. As the number of stations and the size of telescopes increase, so does the size of our catalog.
ESA and the “zero debris” approach.
The “zero debris” approach was proposed to the ESA Council at ministerial level in 2022, and received strong support from member states. This new objective is a key element in the successful implementation of ESA’s Agenda 2025 and the new PROTECT gas pedal. The “zero debris” approach reinforces ESA’s efforts within the framework of the space security program and the associated “Clean Space” initiative.
The “zero debris” approach describes a series of actions and initiatives designed to help ESA take a strategic and proactive approach to safeguarding our space environment for future generations.
Zero debris: the need to meet stricter and more ambitious requirements for space debris reduction.
The world-leading “zero debris” approach will not only protect satellite operations and the safety of human life on Earth, but also ensure that all nations enjoy the benefits of space activities for many years to come.
In practice, this means cleaning up and keeping clean our precious space environment, and reducing the impact of our activities on the environment. The Agency is now inviting all European space professionals to discuss the latest developments, best practices and trends in the fields of eco-design of space activities, end-of-life management of space missions and in-orbit servicing, including the disposal of active debris.
Clean Space Industry Days (CSID) 2023 is a must-attend event for all space professionals and enthusiasts working on the design and realization of sustainable space missions! This year’s event will take place from October 16 to 20 at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.