HEO Robotics has partnered with Australian in-space transportation provider, Space Machines Company (SMC) to launch its “Potoroo” camera onboard SMC’s Optimus-1 ‘Space Taxi” orbital transport mission in 2022.
HEO Robotics will use the Potoroo camera for on-orbit inspections of spacecraft and space debris, reporting critical data back to users on Earth in as little as an hour.
SMC’s Optimus-1 carries passenger satellites to their desired orbits around Earth, or higher bodies like the Moon or Mars. This provides customers with a cost-effective way to get their satellites into final orbits. Space Machines vehicles are compatible with major launch providers.
The mission will be operating in a range of orbits, allowing HEO Robotics to take high-resolution imagery at numerous different altitudes and provide insights that will dramatically enhance space situational awareness and on-orbit inspection.
HEO Robotics will be utilising these capabilities to test innovative operational concepts that can reduce the time between taking and receiving processed image data to as little as an hour, providing essential data to space users on important events, such as satellite breakups.
HEO Robotics CEO William Crowe added, “Potoroo is a crucial step towards building out our orbital camera network that advances both space situational awareness and the ability to react quickly to space debris creation events.”
“Tens of thousands of satellites are planned for launch over the next several years, so it’s essential that Australia has its own sovereign satellite capabilities like these, to fully inform our decision makers.”
Potoroo is the first of many in orbit cameras which HEO Robotics will use in concert with existing Earth observation satellites to provide coverage of multiple orbits and allow on-demand insights to clients.
Commenting on the partnership, Space Machines Company’s founder and CEO Rajat Kulshrestha said, “We are delighted to be enabling this pioneering Australian space technology deployment. Being an Australian manufactured, launched and operated mission is a further testament to our country’s growing sovereign capability in space technology.”
“Advances in space research have the potential to unlock huge advancements in terms of security, defence and safety. The inclusion of Potoroo to our Optimus-1 launch is a critical step on that journey, for the situational awareness of space exploration, reporting capabilities here at home and for Australia’s achievements in the industry.”
Source: HEO Robotics