UK company SpaceFlux to operate new Nyx Alpha telescope to safeguard space assets | Tech News

UK company SpaceFlux to operate new Nyx Alpha telescope to safeguard space assets

UK to boost space monitoring with Project Nyx Alpha telescope in Cyprus. SpaceFlux to operate, and help UK Space Command track satellites and safeguard vital space interests.

| Updated on: Nov 23 2023, 22:18 IST
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The UK is enhancing its space monitoring capabilities with the Nyx Alpha telescope, which will be operated by SpaceFlux from the UK Space Operations Centre. (Representative image) (AP)

The UK is boosting its ability to keep an eye on space with the new Nyx Alpha telescope. The UK Ministry of Defence recently announced a deal with a small London-based company to set up a ground-based telescope in Cyprus. This project, called Nyx Alpha telescope will be run by SpaceFlux, a British space technology company, and it will help the UK Space Command and the UK Space Agency monitor the increasing number of satellites and debris in space more accurately.

The plan is to have the system up and running by spring 2024, bringing back a capability that was once there but had been neglected. SpaceFlux will build, maintain, and operate the Nyx Alpha telescope system from the upcoming UK Space Operations Centre at the Royal Air Force base in High Wycombe, southern England, according to a report.

This centre will coordinate both civilian and military space awareness to protect UK interests, such as the Skynet satellite communications network, from potential space threats. Air Vice-Marshal Paul Godfrey, head of the UK Space Command, highlighted the importance of this new capability in defending Britain's interests in space, stating that it underpins the ability to protect and defend UK and allied interests.

Strategic Location in Cyprus

The UK also secured space awareness data from SpaceFlux and Raytheon Systems to support military and civil missions in space. SpaceFlux boasts the largest optical taskable sensors in the market, with telescopes up to 70 cm in diameter, allowing detection of faint objects from low Earth orbit to geostationary and cislunar orbits.

SpaceFlux is expanding its network to 10 locations this year and aims for a total of 25 locations by the end of 2024. Cyprus was chosen for the British Nyx Alpha telescope because it provides a better view of the geostationary orbit compared to locations on the UK mainland, according to the Ministry of Defence. The announcement was made at the UK Space Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, emphasising the crucial role of the new capability in safeguarding the country's interests in space.

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First Published Date: 23 Nov, 22:18 IST