Satellites are a crucial part of many of the services we rely on every day, such as maps on our smartphones, weather forecasts and online banking. However, these services could be disrupted by a collision in space with another satellite or one of the estimated 36,500 pieces of debris larger than 10cm in orbit around Earth.
Our best way of avoiding a collision is through Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST). This involves the use of sensors, usually radars, telescopes and laser-ranging systems, to provide tracking data to analyse the risk from orbital hazards. We can predict collisions and warn satellite operators in time so they can potentially manoeuvre their spacecraft out of the way.
Throughout 2022, the UK Space Agency is rolling out a pilot service called Monitor Your Satellites for operators of UK-licensed satellites. This is an online platform and notification service that provides information about upcoming potential collision events in a unique, user-friendly format.
Users of the service also receive analysis from our expert UK Space Agency orbital analysts based at the UK Space Operations Centre, as well as having the option to upload information about their satellites to improve our analysis.
During the pilot, we’re working with operators on an invite-only basis to help us test the service and information it provides. Their feedback will allow us to improve it and decide whether to develop an enduring service.
Subsidy control information
|The purpose of the scheme||To provide SST intelligence to UK-licenced satellite operators, enhancing the safe operation of their satellites in space.|
|The categories of beneficiary||All organisations that operate active satellites licensed by the UK.|
|The terms and conditions of eligibility for the subsidy||Organisations must operate one or more active satellites licensed by the UK and sign up to the Monitor you satellites Terms and Conditions.|
|The basis for the calculation of the subsidy||Costs relate to third party development and maintenance of an online platform and notification service, employing expert orbital analysts and licensing specialist software required to provide the service.|