Australian company High Earth Orbit (HEO) Robotics suggested using satellites in low earth orbit, to aid in the diagnosis of other spacecraft. In may, the company tested the technology and showed the image of the International space station, made the Korean satellite is designed for shooting of the earth surface.
It is expected that in the next decade the number of artificial satellites in low earth orbit will increase by 5-50 times, leading to the growth of space debris. It might hamper further space exploration, as the probability of failure when launching new aircraft will greatly increase. Today, satellite operators strive to prolong the lifespan of their vehicles to avoid “overpopulation” of the orbit, and this can help timely detection of problems.
Australian company HEO came up with a budget and an easy way to diagnose an orbiting spacecraft. Many satellites designed for Earth observation, they are not shooting all the time — they take breaks, especially when flying over the ocean and HEO proposes to use these breaks to get photos of other aircraft. Together with on-Board diagnostics it will give better results.
In may 2020, the company tested its concept. Using Kompsat 3 belonging to the Korean aerospace research Institute (KARI), she completed the shooting of the ISS. The original photo was quite fuzzy because of the high spacecraft velocity relative to the space station (10 kilometers per second), however, the company’s specialists managed to restore the picture. In the future the HEO plans to improve the quality of images, including resolution, brightness, and oversampling. In addition, the company plans to use machine learning in order to extract from images information about the state of the payload of the communication antennas and solar panels.