Asteroids and space debris come together for the first time

13 June 2018

In January 2019, ESA will hold its first-ever joint technology conference that brings together two fundamental pillars of space safety and security: the hunt for near-Earth objects, like asteroids, and the need to detect space debris in Earth orbit.

Exploiting Synergies will include the latest in observation techniques, orbit determination methods, risk management and data exchange for both naturally formed risky rocks and potentially hazardous man-made debris.

The conference is being organised by ESA’s Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme. Rüdiger Jehn, co-manager for near-Earth objects, and Tim Flohrer, co-manager for Space Surveillance and Tracking, will co-chair the conference.

“What’s exciting about this conference is the way it will bring together the near-Earth object and space-debris communities working in space safety,” remarks Tim Flohrer. He adds, “There are rich connections between these two fields, as both are focussed on detecting and observing objects that pose hazards to our planet and space infrastructure, and determining just how risky are.”

The conference, dubbed Near-Earth Object and Debris Detection – Exploiting Synergies, will run 22-24 January 2019, and is planned to alternate with ESA’s long-standing quadrennial European Conference on Space Debris, meaning the space safety and security communities will be invited to meet every two years for conferences at ESA’s ESOC operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

Scientists and researchers working in this field are invited to submit their abstracts and papers.

More information on the conference venue, scope, registration, accommodation and abstract and paper submission can be found on the conference website.

Laser from Optical Ground Station on Tenerife