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The German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has selected Lockheed Martin’s iSpace Command & Control system to monitor objects in Earth orbit. iSpace is capable of monitoring more than 300,000 objects in Earth orbit in real time from data collected by a worldwide network of government, commercial and scientific radar systems.

The domain of space is undeniably an important and valuable area to protect for communications, business and security. It has changed from a formerly secure environment to one that is congested and threatened. A growing number of satellite-system owners and operators therefore require new capabilities to protect their systems and protect their interests in space. This concerns in particular events such as collisions, manoeuvres, launches, aborts and other threats in orbits.

DLR Space Management operates the German Space Situational Awareness Centre (GSSAC) in Uedem alongside the German Air Force. Here, iSpace interfaces with the German Experimental Space Surveillance and Tracking Radar (GESTRA) space surveillance radar, which was established in Koblenz on 13 October 2020. The iSpace system is used for:

  • situational awareness
  • acquiring orbital data of satellites and debris in near-Earth space
  • analysing anomalies and issuing recommendations for action

iSpace builds on Lockheed Martin’s more than 50 years of experience in space security Command & Control systems. It has been in use since 2017 and has been deployed as part of several US Strategic Command Global Sentinel exercises. This forum aims at an improved collaboration on space situational awareness. In addition to Germany, partner nations include:

  • the UK
  • France
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Japan
  • South Korea.

Wolfgang Gelpke