A collaboration between Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI) and Thoth Technology brings the 46 meter radio astronomy antenna at the Algonquin Radio Observatory (ARO) to the commercial space situational awareness (SSA) market.
Unlike other commercial radars, the ARO is capable of tracking objects at Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and beyond. Until now, all radars with comparable capabilities have been government-owned. Traditionally, deep space tracking has been accomplished with telescopes, but the ARO radar closes the daytime optical gap and by-passes weather restrictions. For the last two years, AGI and Thoth worked to put the radar through operational tests, by which it has been calibrated, validated, and is now collecting observations on objects in and crossing through GEO.
AGI and Thoth partnered in 2016 to advance the state of radar tracking of GEO satellites and debris by upgrading the ARO, where Thoth had been providing space tracking and communication services. The radar now expands AGI’s Commercial Space Operations Center’s (ComSpOC) sensor network and subsequently its space catalog by tracking active and debris objects at geostationary altitude, and providing even more timely maneuver detection.
Thoth President and CEO, Caroline Roberts, noted that Thoth's digital Earth fence radar can observe space objects up to a range of 50,000 km., with Paul Graziani, AGI’s CEO and co-founder, adding that this is an exciting venture which allows ARO full 24/7 collection capability of GEO.