SCOUT Inc’s first SCOUT-Vision system was deployed on June 30, 2021 on the Orbit Fab Tenzing-001 tanker. It was launched aboard the Space-X Transporter 2 mission and is now in sun-synchronous orbit.
“We are very excited to be on-orbit and have great mission partners like Orbit Fab b,” said Eric Ingram, Founder and CEO of SCOUT. He went on to say “finding early adopters when you’re bringing a new product to market is crucial to that company’s success. Daniel [Faber] and his team understand the importance of their spacecraft having awareness of its surroundings, given the complex operational needs of refueling satellites. SCOUT-Vision enables new forms of navigating their satellites.”
SCOUT-Vision’s first deployment is a new, exciting step in autonomous spaceflight operations. The system’s situational awareness capabilities enable Tenzing to detect, identify, and model observed objects it encounters in orbit. As SCOUT develops their SCOUT-Vision system, they’re working to add features for relative navigation and collision avoidance that reduce risk for operators like Orbit Fab.
Tenzing is an orbital fuel depot that carries and supplies propellant to other spacecraft. SCOUT-Vision (payload size 1.5U) allows the SpaceCraft to Observe and Understand Things (SCOUT) in its vicinity. This will enable Tenzing to avoid costly, even fatal, collisions with natural and artificial satellites.
“We are very excited to be the first to pioneer on-orbit space situational awareness capabilities,” Ingram said.
SCOUT was founded in 2019 to reduce the risks to satellite operators and prevent the loss of spacecraft to unknown causes. Its passive sensor hardware and control software enhances detection resolution by up to 1,000 times, vastly improving autonomous collision avoidance. The company’s innovations have paved their way into Techstars Space Accelerator 2021 and earned it a 2020 MassChallenge Gold Award.