Canada’s NEOSSat satellite is playing a role in the space situational awareness Phantom Echoes experiment and recently captured imagery of the North Grumman Mission Extension Vehicle-1 spacecraft approaching Intelsat 901 in GEO.
The Department of National Defence is taking part in the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) space situational awareness Phantom Echoes experiment along with other Five-Eyes nations which includes the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand.
According to DSTL “the experiment aims to demonstrate how allied SSA sensors and processing capabilities can be integrated to enhance the performance over individual systems working independently to improve Space safety for UK and allied satellites in and near Geostationary Orbit. A combination of simulation and real-world events will be used to understand the strengths and constraints of each system that will advise the development of operational SSA architectures within the Coalition Space Operations (CSPO) initiative.”
In the video below NEOSSat imagery is used to track the MEV-1 spacecraft approaching Intelsat 901.
Check out these captures using Canada’s NEOSSat and Sapphire satellites, as we assist in tracking the in-orbit docking experiment of the Northrop Grumman MEV-1 with Intelsat 901 in support of our Five-Eyes partner nations and the Phantom Echoes team. pic.twitter.com/3pp4JwBzJR— Canadian Forces (@CanadianForces) February 10, 2020
The DSTL further states that the “cooperative observation campaign will be conducted using allied ground-based telescopes and Space-based sensors to observe the Northrop Grumman Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) that was launched into Geostationary Transfer Orbit (at 36,000km altitude above Earth’s surface) on 09 October 2019 from Kazakhstan. The first of its kind, MEV will dock with a commercial communications satellite approximately 300km above Geostationary Orbit and provide manoeuvre capability that extends the lifetime of the host. The Phantom Echoes team will use this event to understand the challenges posed in observing this unique mission as the two satellite manoeuvre towards each other and perform docking operations.”