Infinity Avionics, an Australian startup, is developing a high-tech camera system for space observation. Armed with approximately 1 million Australian dollars in funding from the Australian research consortium SmartSat CRC, the Australian Capital Territory government and internal research funding, the Canberra-based is collaborating with the University of New South Wales Canberra Space and fellow Australian startup Nominal Systems.
This new technology’s main goal is to automatically find and track small space objects that regular radars can’t pick up. Igor Dimitrijevic, the founder and CEO of Infinity Avionics, highlighted that the system can examine tiny pieces of debris in space. He said, “We’re trying to detect pieces of debris which are too small for radars to pick up… We can also observe other spacecraft that may be out of control or where more information is needed due to an anomaly.”
At the heart of this innovation is a dual-camera system featuring a wide field of view event sensor that reacts to changes in light without generating conventional images. Dimitrijevic elaborated, “It has a very high dynamic range compared to a normal image sensor. We can see very faint changes or very faint events.” The ingenious design involves a coalescence of this event sensor and a coaligned narrow field of view camera. The event sensor detects alterations or movement and prompts the narrow field of view camera to capture precise imagery.
Dimitrijevic pointed out the benefit of their method, explaining that it helps them catch events or movements that a regular camera might miss. Unlike a normal camera that constantly produces a lot of data, their dual-head camera system identifies and captures events with a small, manageable amount of data for processing and transmission.