New Zealand and LeoLabs Establish the First Low-Earth Orbit Regulatory Platform
LeoLabs, Inc . of Menlo Park, California has deployed the world's first dedicated regulatory platform for low-Earth orbit (LEO): the Space Regulatory and Sustainability Platform. The cloud-based services platform was developed as a joint initiative between LeoLabs – which focuses on LEO mapping and space situational awareness (SSA) services – and the New Zealand Space Agency (NZSA). As a regulatory tool, the Space Regulatory and Sustainability Platform is designed to offer a set of capabilities to empower the New Zealand government to meet its stated mission of encouraging a sustainable space environment for future generations.
The rapid shift of commercial focus toward LEO has resulted in thousands of new satellites, which in turn create unprecedented numbers of new services. Against this backdrop is the risk posed by orbital space debris – including an estimated 250,000 currently untracked dangerous objects. An expected growth in satellite constellations requires space-faring nations such as New Zealand to engage in monitoring and regulating satellite activity.
The Space Regulatory and Sustainability Platform provides cloud-based services based on LeoLabs' network of global sensors. Observations from this network are then processed via the LeoLabs mapping and “software as a service” (SaaS) platform which analyzes and delivers operational and compliance information to the New Zealand regulatory and space agency
William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
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