HEO Robotics

Established in 2016, High Earth Orbit (HEO) Robotics makes use of existing satellites to provide monitoring services for “satellite owners,” conducting damage assessment, analysis of rotation and determining whether antennas and solar panels are correctly deployed.

“Through capturing this imagery, we are able to understand satellite health, mineralogy of close-passing asteroids, and we will even be able to take movie-quality video of spacewalks and other exciting events in the future,” said Dr William Crowe, HEO Robotics’ CEO & dynamics specialist, who formed the business idea when vying to attend the International Astronautical Congress in 2015.

“There is a growing problem with space debris: as more satellites are launched, satellite complexity increases, and the length of technology cycles is reduced,” he said. “And given the number of satellites is increasing exponentially, some of those satellites are malfunctioning while in orbit and sometimes they even violently, spew out new and untrackable debris.

“We help satellite operators monitor their assets with our satellite-based cameras, to help them prevent accidents and optimise their satellite life. It’s just like sending someone out to check on a remote worksite where there may be an issue or problem – we just do it in space,” Crowe said.

“We believe that this kind of satellite management will become a critical part of the in-orbit servicing and repair economy that will ultimately allow in-space industry.”

Crowe, along with his company’s five staff, said he hoped being part of the Capability Plus program would further strengthen his company’s working relationship with Raytheon Australia.

“We are really excited about working even more with Raytheon Australia’s team of super experienced people,” he said.

“Being involved in Capability Plus means we will be spending more time with them, and I believe that time will provide us with the opportunity to gain from their lengthy experience of working with government and Defence clients internationally,” Crowe said.