Space

Startups Scout and Privateer to collaborate on space-tracking technologies

Privateer and Scout are “looking into how we can best combine our capabilities”

WASHINGTON — Space-tracking startup Scout Space announced Sept. 1 it is partnering with Privateer Space, a new venture also focused on space situational awareness services for satellite operators.

Scout is based in Alexandria, Virginia; Privateer is located in Maui, Hawaii.

“The collaboration is focused on integrating Scout’s systems architecture and data collection capabilities with Privateer’s data solutions,” the companies said in a statement.

Privateer developed Wayfinder, a visualization tool to track satellites and debris in space that ingests data from commercial and government sources. “The two companies plan to explore building out joint offerings that further enhance their respective datasets on space objects and events,” said the statement. 

Eric Ingram, co-founder and CEO of Scout, said the collaboration is “in the initial stages and we’re looking into how we can best combine our capabilities. There could very well be joint products in the future, but we are at the early stages of that process.”

Scout developed a sensing payload that uses machine vision technology for in-space navigation and surveillance. The first one launched in June 2021 on an Orbit Fab’s on-orbit refueling spacecraft and is currently in operation. 

“We are working towards our own satellites for space situational awareness,” said Ingram. The company designed a space-sensing cubesat known as OVER-Sat expected to launch before the end of 2023.          

“We are excited to collaborate with Scout to advance our product capabilities to better track debris and enable sustainable growth for the new space economy,” said Travis Blake, chief commercial officer of Privateer, a venture founded by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Ripcord CEO Alex Fielding, and University of Texas-Austin professor Moriba Jah.

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