DLR opts for iSpace for space observation


The German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has chosen Lockheed Martin’s iSpace control system for observation of objects in the orbit.

iSpace is able to monitor more than 300,000 objects in orbit in real time from data from government, commercial and scientific radar systems worldwide.

The space sector is undeniably an important and valuable area to be protected for communication, business and thus security. It has once moved from a safe environment to a crowded and risky environment. An increasing number of owners and operators of satellite systems require new skills to protect these systems and protect their interests in space. This particularly applies to events such as collisions, maneuvers, take-offs, abortions, and other hazards in classrooms.

The DLR Space Administration, in conjunction with the German Air Force, operates the German Space Situation Center GSSAC (German Space Situation Awareness Center) at Udem near Kalkar on the Lower Rhine. The latest expansion with iSpace forms the interface for the GESTRA (German Experimental Space Surveillance and Tracking Radar) space surveillance radar, which was installed on October 13, 2020 at Coblenz and other sensors and radar units. The iSpace system is used to determine the situation, collects orbit data from satellites and debris in near-Earth space, analyzes abnormalities and issues recommendations for action, such as collision avoidance.

GESTRA (German Experimental Space Surveillance and Tracking Radar) Space Surveillance Radar was installed in Coblen on October 13, 2020, Photo: Fraunhofer Institute

“No other system currently enables the censoring of space events and radar systems and the processing of radar systems,” said Amit Hussain, vice president of Lockheed Martin C4ISR Systems. “ISpace provides a solid solution for space monitoring, as it can be quickly and dynamically configured according to the individual mission requirements of the customer.”

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ISpace is based on Lockheed Martin’s more than 50 years of experience in control systems for space travel and space security. It has been in use since 2017 and was deployed as part of several US Strategic Command Global Sentinel exercises. This forum helps in better estimation of the state of the space. In addition to the Federal Republic of Germany, partner countries include Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Wolfgang Gelpke

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