The joint NSTP/SST are calling for proposals to develop the underlying technology or data processing capabilities needed to conduct space surveillance and tracking or support the removal of orbital debris.

By the end of the project there must be a tangible improvement in the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the product or service. We expect proposals to seek to deliver new products or services at TRL2-5, though higher TRL developments will be considered. This will provide a pipeline of mid-development capabilities which can be improved further, with future government or industry support, to be competitive commercially.

Acceptable activities are:

  • Activities to advance development of capabilities to detect, track or identify objects including active satellites and debris. This includes improving or developing new sensor technology that can detect, track or identify objects in orbit.
  • Activities to develop new approaches to better compiling, cleaning or analysing data created by SST sensors with a view to making the generation of SST warnings more efficient, accurate or timely.
  • Activities to develop or improve algorithms used to determine or propagate the orbits of objects, or predict conjunctions, fragmenting or re-entering objects.
  • Activities to develop new technologies needed to conduct the removal of debris from orbit. This includes improving or developing new systems to help capture, manipulate, manoeuvre or de-orbit debris using another spacecraft.

Proposals should demonstrate how the project would lead to the enhancement of SST or debris removal capabilities relative to existing products, services and techniques.
Awarded Projects must start by no later than 1st November 2021 and must have fully completed by 31st March 2022. Grant funding per project is available, up to a grant award maximum of £200k. Up to 6 projects may be funded. Applications can be submitted at values up to this funding level; however it should be noted all proposals should clearly demonstrate that they meet the identified TRL levels indicated in the paragraph above.

For further information and advice, please contact Andy Bennett, KTM – Space.