The first signal detected by the cubesat “ADLER-1”, developed by the Austrian Space Forum (ÖWF) together with Spire Global Inc. and Findus Venture Gmbh, originates from an extraterrestrial object or a micrometeoroid with an estimated velocity of 54,000-72,000 km/h.
The first signal was detected in early May. Of the 70,000 signals detected so far, one signal shape has changed significantly, ultimately indicating this high velocity. At the time of detection, the ADLER-1 cubesat was at an altitude of 479 kilometers above the Atlantic Ocean.
Dr. Gernot Grömer, Director of the Austrian Space Forum (ÖWF): “The detection of this impact comes earlier than we had actually planned, because we first have to learn to understand the sensor under space conditions: such a clear signal is a first success. We suspect that more of these signals are hidden in the raw data recorded so far.It shows that the hardware we developed in cooperation with Spire Global Inc. and Findus Venture GmbH in Austria, works accurately.”
Space debris are particles in Earth orbit ranging in size from dust particles to minibuses, some of which can collide with satellites at tens of thousands of kilometers per hour. This “garbage” is turning out to be an ever-increasing problem for space travel. Moreover, the detection and monitoring of it, especially of the smallest particles, is proving to be particularly difficult. Gernot Grömer continues: “In close cooperation with the European Space Agency, we want to significantly improve the modeling of space debris. If we know in which orbits how many and which particles are located, we can better plan countermeasures.”