LeoLabs Announces the Azores as Site for Next Space Radar

LeoLabs today serves regulatory and space agencies, commercial satellite operators, defense, and scientific/academic organizations driving generational change in LEO.

FREMONT, CA: LeoLabs, the world's leading commercial provider of low Earth orbit (LEO) mapping and Space Situational Awareness (SSA) services, announced the Azores as the site for its next space radar. As a strategic addition to LeoLabs expanding global constellation of LEO sensors, the Azores Space Radar will be operational in the first half of 2022.

"We are very excited about our decision to locate in the Azores," said Dan Ceperley, CEO and LeoLabsco-Founder. "This is a multi-decade investment on the part of LeoLabs, and a great opportunity for us to support the space sustainability goals of Portugal as they grow their presence in the global space community. It also signals LeoLabs commitment to a long-term presence in Europe."

"The mission of LeoLabs remains clear: serve the growth of the LEO economy, and ensure the long-term survivability of LEO for future generations. Today we are the only end-to-end supplier of radar infrastructure and services that can execute on this mission," continued Ceperley. "Our global network already produces the world's largest number of LEO observations, and the Azores Space Radar will build on that and expand our tracking of LEO objects by an additional 25 percent. This opens our ability to grow our LEO catalogue from tracking 15,000 objects today to a massive 250,000 objects. The Azores Space Radar also adds more timely updates on critical events in LEO, including collisions, breakups, maneuvers, new launches, and re-entries."

LeoLabs' Azores Space Radar investment also reflects alignment with Portugal's goals at the national and regional levels. LeoLabs investment in Portugal represents an important addition to LeoLabs' global radar constellation and an essential element of infrastructure to inform satellite operators, defense, space and regulatory agencies, and the space insurance sector.

"The single greatest challenge to both the sustainability and security threats in LEO is solving the "data deficit," said Dan Ceperley, LeoLabs CEO. "The number of assets in LEO doubled last year, will double again this year and is expected to grow 25x in the next five years. LeoLabs is already the largest provider of data for LEO today, and this lead will expand rapidly as we execute on our constellation of radars." Ceperley continued, "The legacy government-built SSA infrastructures of the past simply cannot scale to track the new levels of LEO activity, and they have no path to get there. Our commercially driven infrastructure is the only viable and scalable way to address this "data deficit."

The Azores Space Radar will make a critical contribution to solving these challenges. First, because of its strategic Atlantic location, the radar complements other LeoLabs radar sites and will increase the frequency of observations LeoLabs collects on each satellite and orbital debris. This improves response times and supports effective tracking and safety of flight. Second, the additional two S-band radars at the Azores adds critical resiliency to the global network, improving operational service levels and persistent tracking. And third, the Azores Space Radar accelerates LeoLab's ability to discover, track and catalog the objects never before tracked, those under 10 centimeters.

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