LeoLabs Accelerates Radar Coverage in Europe with Commissioning of the Azores Space Radar
LeoLabs, the leading commercial provider of Space Domain Awareness (SDA) services and low Earth orbit (LEO) mapping, today announced the commissioning of the LeoLabs Azores Space Radar. This radar site, located on Santa Maria Island in the Azores, Portugal adds critical coverage in Europe and supports regional and national commitments to space safety, security, and sustainability.
The Azores site is the latest addition to LeoLabs' global network of phased array radars enabling continuous monitoring of space objects and characterization of events in space. The radar site expands on LeoLabs ability to track objects in LEO due to its strategic location in the Atlantic, closing a critical gap in longitude coverage in Europe and Africa, and increasing the frequency of observations. An estimated 96% of cataloged operational satellites and space debris pass through the radar's field of view. This site complements other LeoLabs radar sites for more timely updates and accurate insights on critical events, including collisions, breakups, maneuvers, and launches.
The addition of the Azores Space Radar adds resiliency to LeoLabs global network of sensors, improving operational service levels and persistent tracking. The Azores Space Radar also augments LeoLabs ability to discover, track, and catalog objects under 10 centimeters, which are currently not tracked.
"The Azores Space Radar is the next big step in the global expansion of our sensor network to help ensure the long-term viability of LEO for future generations," said Dan Ceperley, LeoLabs CEO and co-Founder. "As the only commercial operator of radar infrastructure and services that can carry out this mission at scale, we are excited to partner with Portugal on space sustainability and grow our presence in Europe."
"We are thrilled to welcome LeoLabs to Portugal with the inauguration of the Azores Space Radar" said Ricardo Conde, President of the Portuguese Space Agency. "This important investment by LeoLabs supports the global commitments and initiatives to space safety, security, and sustainability. The strategic location of the radar in Santa Maria, reinforce the centrality of Azores in the Atlantic, and fills a critical gap in coverage that will allow us to mitigate the risks of rapidly growing space debris in LEO."
With the addition of the Azores Space Radar, LeoLabs' global network has grown to include 10 independent radars across six operational sites, with plans to expand further in late 2023 and 2024.