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Bengaluru startup to build India’s first space situational awareness observatory

space situational awareness observatory

India’s first space situational awareness observatory

A Space Situational Awareness observatory will be constructed in the hill state of Uttarakhand by Bengaluru-based startup Digantara Research & Technologies, which will be a significant development for the nation’s commercial space industry. 
The proposed unique observatory will track satellites and space debris in geosynchronous and lower earth orbits (LEO and GEO), assisting Digantara in enhancing its SSA capabilities to provide international space traffic management operations. 
Anirudh Sharma, CEO of Digantara, said in a statement to Business Today that the country’s first observatory “will contribute to the creation of an indigenous data pool that will be used not only for civilian purposes but also be a crucial step towards attaining self-reliance in military applications for SSA.”

Space situational awareness observatory

Under the Network for Space Objects Tracking and Analysis (NETRA) programme, the national space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is also striving to build a reliable surveillance and tracking network for space debris. This consists of an optical telescope and a single debris tracking radar with a 1,500 km range.

Increasing likelihood of space encounters

The observatory is anticipated to cooperate with a constellation of space-based sensors as part of Digantara’s future network of resilient buildings. This will increase the efficiency with which existing Resident Space Objects are tracked and identified (RSOs).

According to Sudhir Nautiyal, director of industries for the state of Uttarakhand, “promoting the development of such key technologies and infrastructure is necessary towards establishing indigenous resilient capacities to compete on a global scale.” 
There is an increasing probability of spacecraft collision in the densely populated LEO and GEO areas as a result of more than 90 successful satellite launches since the start of 2022.

Plans for the greatest SSA data repository in the world

Digantara highlights the essential characteristics of its patented Space-MAP technology, including decision quality, responsive data on RSOs, and space weather. With the aid of a variety of patented sensors and considerable collaborative efforts, the company is also building the groundwork for the creation of the largest SSA data archive in the world. 
In 2018, while still a student, Sharma founded Digantara with co-founders Rahul Rawat and Tanveer Ahmed. The business received $2.5 million in seed money from Kalaari Capital last year. The business’s proton fluence metre underwent a successful test and space qualification on an ISRO mission in June.