In a pivotal move aimed at dealing with the growing issue of space debris, EOS Space Systems, a trusted and proven leader in delivering unique optical surveillance capabilities for space situational awareness and satellite safety of flight, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with EX-Fusion, a Japanese start-up at the forefront of laser fusion technology. The signing took place during the fifth Japan-Australia Ministerial Economic Dialogue held on 8 October, co-chaired by Australia’s Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, and Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi.
EOS Space Systems and EX-Fusion aim to strengthen their collaboration through this agreement. Specifically, they will explore the usage of high-power laser technologies developed for laser fusion purposes to help address the space debris problem.
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of space debris around the Earth that threatens to cause catastrophic collisions with valuable space assets that are essential to modern life on Earth, such as telecommunications, finance, positioning, and navigation. One strategy to mitigate the space debris problem is to use optical ground stations equipped with high-power laser systems to remove space debris or alter its orbit to prevent these catastrophic collisions.
EOS Space Systems’ existing technologies include operational systems for optical tracking and laser ranging of space debris orbiting the Earth, and experience in previous programs working to manoeuvre space debris using ground-based lasers. EX-Fusion also possesses expertise in high-power lasers, as it aims to build and power the world’s first laser fusion reactor. The two companies will work together to investigate next-generation space debris tracking and clearing technologies by evaluating the usage of Ex-Fusion’s high-power laser technologies for space debris tracking and clearing.
James Bennett, Executive Vice President, EOS Space Systems said, “EOS Space Systems is delighted to be collaborating with EX-Fusion on this project. As a trusted and proven leader in debris laser ranging, space surveillance and space situational awareness, we recognise the threat that space debris poses to satellite missions. EX-Fusion’s work in laser-powered nuclear fusion complements our expertise in lasers and presents the potential for innovative solutions to the space debris problem. This partnership not only addresses key technological challenges but also serves to strengthen the ties between Australia and Japan.”
Kazuki Matsuo, President, EX-Fusion said, “Our strategy in Australia is to expand our business, with a particular focus on the wide range of applications for laser technology. Laser control equipment developed by EX-Fusion plays a central role in technological aspects such as laser communication in the space field and the tracking and removal of space debris using lasers. We are also looking at further applications of laser technology itself and believe that these areas have significant market potential.”