Slingshot Aerospace, a technology company focused on enhancing spaceflight safety and optimizing orbital operations, announced a significant expansion to its Slingshot Global Sensor Network’s low-Earth orbit (LEO) tracking capabilities. This expansion aims to establish the largest commercial optical sensor network in the world for observing LEO objects on a large scale.
By the end of 2023, Slingshot plans to deploy over 80 new optical sensors, including their proprietary telescopes and ultra-wide field-of-view sensors. This expansion will bring the total number of sensors in the network to more than 200, distributed across over 20 locations worldwide. As part of this expansion, two new sites will be added in the Southern Hemisphere, and additional sensors will be installed at existing sites globally.
The increased capacity of the network will enable Slingshot to conduct 100 times more LEO observations daily, resulting in over one million observations per day. This expansion will enhance the company’s ability to track and monitor LEO objects, contributing to improved spaceflight safety and more efficient orbital operations.
Slingshot Aerospace’s efforts aim to advance the field of space observation and facilitate a better understanding of the activities and dynamics in low-Earth orbit.
The rapid deployment of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations has created an urgent need for more frequent tracking and characterization of objects in LEO. Slingshot Aerospace is addressing this need through its global network of sensors, which will significantly improve observation frequency, accelerate revisit rates, and enable persistent optical tracking of the over 6,500 active satellites currently in LEO.
Melanie Stricklan, Co-founder and CEO of Slingshot Aerospace emphasized that the company’s enhanced space situational awareness data is already trusted by government organizations and satellite operators worldwide. With this expansion, Slingshot aims to become the leading commercial space surveillance and tracking provider for all orbital regimes. The increased capabilities of the Global Sensor Network will provide operators with critical insights and enable successful space operations.
The Slingshot Global Sensor Network generates precise angular and brightness data that goes beyond existing LEO radar tracking capabilities. Angular data allows for enhanced orbital state generation, providing information on how objects are moving. Brightness data enables object characterization and change detection. Leveraging proprietary sensors with daytime LEO tracking capabilities, the network offers five times more observation opportunities than night-only systems. This extended observation window allows customers to have more frequent observations of their satellites and objects of interest. Additionally, the expansion adds redundancy to the network, mitigating intermittent weather outages typically associated with smaller electro-optical observation networks.
Slingshot Aerospace’s Global Sensor Network is the foundation for its groundbreaking service, Slingshot Vantage. This service, the world’s first and only day and night optical satellite tracking and monitoring service from low-Earth orbit (LEO) to geostationary orbit (GEO), empowers government and commercial customers worldwide to enhance their space situational awareness. It offers high-quality observations, orbital analytics, and event detection, providing customers with best-in-class insights.
The data collected through the Global Sensor Network also fuels Slingshot Digital Space TwinTM, which serves as the intelligence core for Slingshot’s product portfolio. This includes Slingshot Beacon, an innovative two-sided coordination and data-sharing solution for satellite collision avoidance, which is the first of its kind in the industry.
Slingshot Aerospace has recently expanded its executive team with two key appointments. Leslie Hildebrand, a former executive at Lockheed Martin, has been appointed as the Senior Vice President of Government Business Development and Strategy. Hildebrand brings over 23 years of experience in strategic business development to her new role. Pieter Kreuk has been named Chief Financial Officer, leveraging his extensive financial leadership experience gained through senior positions at Ernst & Young and other companies.
By expanding its Global Sensor Network and strengthening its executive team, Slingshot Aerospace remains at the forefront of innovation in the space industry, driving progress and making space safer for all stakeholders.