Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR), provider of comprehensive space solutions and secure, precise, geospatial intelligence, today announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has modified Maxar’s remote sensing license to enable the non-Earth imaging (NEI) capability for its current constellation on orbit as well as its next-generation WorldView Legion satellites.
Through this new license authority, Maxar can collect and distribute images of space objects across the Low Earth Orbit (LEO)—the area ranging from 200 kilometers up to 1,000 kilometers in altitude—to both government and commercial customers. Maxar’s constellation is capable of imaging objects at less than 6 inch resolution at these altitudes, and it can also support tracking of objects across a much wider volume of space. Taken together, these capabilities can provide customers with accurate information to assist with mission operations and help address important Space Domain Awareness (SDA) and Space Traffic Management (STM) needs.
“Maxar’s NEI capability has been licensed at a pivotal time for the space industry, when the rapid proliferation of space objects is creating an increasingly crowded Low-Earth Orbital environment, creating new risks for government and commercial missions, Thanks to NOAA’s support and hard work, we are now able to leverage our long-held NEI capability to support critical national security missions, help commercial customers better protect and maintain their assets in orbit and provide a new tool to assist with broader space resiliency initiatives.”
-Dan Jablonsky, Maxar President and Chief Executive Officer.
The ability to provide high-resolution imagery of space objects is more important than ever. There are more than 4,800 active satellites on orbit today, and Euroconsult estimates that 17,000 more satellites will be launched in the next decade. At the same, it is estimated that there are millions of pieces of space debris in LEO, and an impact from even the smallest piece of debris can cause significant damage to a satellite in orbit.
NEI can help address these challenges by bringing more transparency to the near-Earth space domain, thus helping operators better protect and maintain their assets. Maxar will work closely with government and commercial customers to utilize its NEI capabilities to help with a wide range of use cases, including:
SDA: Helping identify and characterize space objects, as well as assess the operational environment for space operations.
STM: Supporting on-orbit collision risk assessment and maneuver planning, end-of-life verification and controlled de-orbit collision avoidance.
Ongoing satellite operations: Assist operators with navigation safety, asset health assessments and defunct satellite monitoring.
National security missions: Providing support for the U.S. government and its allies.
The company will begin deploying its NEI capability in 2023 with a select group of early adopters who need to understand and characterize space objects at scale.
Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR) is a provider of comprehensive space solutions and secure, precise, geospatial intelligence. We deliver disruptive value to government and commercial customers to help them monitor, understand and navigate our changing planet; deliver global broadband communications; and explore and advance the use of space. Our unique approach combines decades of deep mission understanding and a proven commercial and defense foundation to deploy solutions and deliver insights with unrivaled speed, scale and cost effectiveness. Maxar’s 4,400 team members in over 20 global locations are inspired to harness the potential of space to help our customers create a better world. Maxar trades on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange as MAXR.