From April 4 to 6, space surveillance experts met up at GMV’s Tres Cantos facilities in Madrid (Spain) to tackle a wide range of topics related to the detection, identification, prediction, tracking, removal and disposal of space debris and everything associated with liability and insurance issues.
The event was opened by Pedro J. Schoch, GMV’s director of Corporate Development, Marketing and Communication. After welcoming all those in attendance, the executive gave a general presentation of the company, highlighting GMV’s trajectory and activity around space surveillance, an area in which GMV has worked for over 20 years. “GMV has set the global standard for studying, monitoring, and preventing the proliferation of space debris. It has been operating in this field since the late 1990s, when it started working with ESA on object cataloguing and in-orbit collision avoidance. Since then, the company has consolidated its position and today it has a prominent presence on both the commercial and the institutional markets, providing key support to the development and operation of the EU-SST system. GMV is currently the European industrial leader in this area, with over 70 engineers working in 7 countries,” he said.
The event was organized into several sessions, structured into different panels: Forecasting, Tracking, Risk Assessment, Spacecraft Control, Proximity Operations, Debris Removal, Associations and SSA Capability & Policy. These panels, held over the three days of this internationally significant event, included presentations by representatives from organizations such as ESA, CDTI, CNES, UKSA, the Romanian Space Agency, the US Space Force, the National Institute for Space of Brazil, the Astrophysics and Space Science Observatory of Bologna, and others. Leading representatives from the industry also took part, such as LeoLabs, TNO, Surrey Satellite Technology, Astrocale, OKAPI and COMPSPOC Corporation, as well as researchers from universities and technology institutions from around the world.
In line with its role as a leader in this area, GMV gave five presentations on internal R&D projects and activities focused on coordinating collision avoidance operations, optimum sensor planning, determination and maneuver estimation, measurement correlation for cataloguing objects, and telescopes onboard satellites.
The event was brought to a close by Riccardo Bevilaccqua, professor in the Aerospace Engineering department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), and Alberto Águeda, GMV’s space surveillance program coordinator, who highlighted in their presentations the primary objective of the conference: to provide a long-term vision of the space surveillance area, inspire the leading sector representatives and highlight the importance of investment and the development of technologies capable of facing the challenges of the future in this area to ensure the sustainability of the space environment.