Space Debris – SCISYS develops European database for the identification and avoidance of space debris hazards

2nd October 2019

DLR Space Management has commissioned the Bochum space experts at SCISYS Deutschland GmbH to implement a central database for data and information as part of the EU Space Surveillance and Tracking Project (EUSST).

The accumulation of debris in space is a problem that is increasingly occupying the United Nations as well as national and international space organisations. Space debris endangers active satellites and space stations. The aim of international and national efforts is there-fore to prevent collisions and damage to satellites more effectively in the future. This can be achieved by constantly monitoring as many potentially dangerous objects as possible on different Earth orbits. To this end, SCISYS already started in mid-2018 to set up and operate a central database for DLR space management as part of the European project “EU Space Surveillance and Tracking” (EUSST).

Note: Artist’s impression; size of debris exaggerated as compared with the Earth. (Image courtesy ESA)

In August 2019, a further long-term contract was awarded for the implementation of the database, with extension options until 2025. With its expertise in databases, web applications and software interfaces, SCISYS supports both the EUSST database currently under construction and the database used exclusively for national evaluations by the German Space Operations Centre (Weltraumlagezentrum) in Uedem.

With the common goal of being able to identify and ward off dangers from space debris at an early stage, observation data is shared via the database developed by SCISYS in order to create a European catalogue of orbital data.

Where does space debris come from?

For decades people have been using technology in space to look at the earth, the sun, the moon, nearby planets and even the depths of the universe. For this purpose, a large number of spacecraft have been launched, satellites have been placed in different orbits and the construction and maintenance of entire space stations have been conducted. Over the years, this has resulted in a large number of inactive objects in space that potentially pose a threat to the active space infrastructure. Collisions have already occurred. These collisions even release new space debris of various sizes and thus increase the risk for the future exploitation of space. With the support of this database, a central interface for the provision of measurement data and the exchange of orbital data is emerging within the framework of the EUSST project in order to generate services and procedures and thus reduce the risk of spacecraft damage or even loss, caused by space debris.


SCISYS Deutschland GmbH is part of the international SCISYS Group with around 670 employees and serves a broad spectrum of market segments, including media & broadcast, space and defence in the public and commercial sectors. In the space sector, SCISYS is established as a software specialist and ground segment system house. Its long-standing customers in the space domain include space agencies, satellite operators, system integrators, research institutes and international aerospace organisations and companies, including OHB System AG, Thales Alenia Space and Airbus. SCISYS supports the planning, construction and long-term operation of spacecraft missions and participates in research projects and the realisation of future-oriented space applications.

The SCISYS SPACE division is one of the leading providers of integrated ICT solutions for the ground segment, specialising in control centres, monitoring & control systems, data processing, intelligent systems, data services and integrated applications. The company also develops onboard software for satellites.

SCISYS Deutschland GmbH
Jasmina Driller
Borgmannstraße 2
44894 Bochum
Tel. +49 234 9258 294

About SCISYS Group:

Employing around 670 staff, SCISYS Group is a leading developer of information and communications technology services, e-business, web and mobile applications, editorial newsroom solutions and advanced technology solutions. The Company operates in a broad spectrum of market sectors, including Media & Broadcast, Space, Government and Defence and Commercial sectors. SCISYS clients are predominantly blue-chip and public-sector organisations. Customers include the Environment Agency, the Ministry of Defence, Airbus Defence & Space, Thales Alenia Space, Arqiva, Vodafone, the European Space Agency, Eumetsat, the BBC, Radio France, RTL, RNLI, Pets at Home, Siemens and the National Trust. The Company's registered office is in Dublin, with UK offices in Chippenham, Bristol, Leicester and Reading and German offices in Bochum, Dortmund, Darmstadt and Munich.