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Self-defense technology by GuardianSat gets a research grant


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GuardianSat received a grant from the National Science Foundation's America's Seed Fund to advance its technology for shielding satellites from space debris impacts.

The National Science Foundation's America's Seed Fund awarded a grant to the startup GuardianSat on October 12th, with the goal of advancing the company's technology to shield satellites from space debris impacts.

Delaware-based GuardianSat was awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer research contract, which is estimated to be valued at $273,000. Aerospace Corp. will also provide technical support to the company. America's Seed Fund provides promising entrepreneurs with annual investments of up to $200 million.

Based on technology licensed by one of its founders, Robert Briskman, who also co-founded Sirius XM satellite radio, the business created a debris-avoidance system for satellites.

According to GuardianSat’s research lead Huey Wyche, the debris-detection technology is known as the Autonomous Satellite Orbital Debris Avoidance System, and it consists of interfaces that work with a satellite's thruster and communication subsystems in addition to satellite control, sensor, and tracking systems. In order to enhance space domain awareness, it is also intended to help a satellite return to its starting location after evading debris and to exchange object data with other satellites. 

Wyche stated that GuardianSat is detecting objects in orbit using a multi-spectral method. Based on their spectrum characteristics, multi-spectral sensors are able to distinguish between different kinds of things. He clarified that this skill is useful for differentiating between space debris, defunct spacecraft, and operational satellites.


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