20 years of safety in space

ASRO has a long history of supporting the development, operation and maintenance of the ESA’s optical space debris detection and survey system at the Teide Observatory in Tenerife, Spain.

A space debris camera

ASRO performed an upgrade on a low noise cryo-cooled CCD camera used to search for space debris and its control interface to the ESA’s OGS telescope.


The challenge in detecting space debris, or harmful objects orbiting the earth, is the weak signal-noise ratio of the objects being observed and the complex photo analysis that is required. The project involved developing new algorithms to solve this problem in cooperation with the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Geodetic Institute. ASRO was responsible for implementing the algorithms as computer vision software.


The Space-Based Observation (SBO) research project. ASRO developed user requirements and designed an observation strategy for a space-based instrument capable of observing previously uncatalogued space debris objects of just millimetres in size.


ASRO participated in the ESA’s Improvements of Space Object Observation Strategies (ISOOS) project, the purpose of which was to study the potential benefits of the new CMOS/APS detectors in observing space debris.