World’s first ‘next-generation’ space radar to be unveiled in Naseby
Silicon Valley start-up LeoLabs are set to unveil their first ‘next-generation’ space radar this week in Naseby, Central
Otago, after two years of construction. The Kiwi Space Radar’s unveiling, it marks a key milestone in the company’s
partnership with the New Zealand Government.
Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Megan Woods welcomed LeoLabs’ founders and directors to the Beehive today
to celebrate the completion of a project she said would add significant value to New Zealand’s space industry.
“The completion of Kiwi Space Radar is a breakthrough for the global space community because it will help us to track –
with unprecedented accuracy – what objects are out there orbiting earth and whether there’s a risk of collision between
these objects,” Megan Woods says.
“This is a ‘next generation’ radar - the first of its kind and the first constructed by LeoLabs outside of the United
States. The data it generates will help the global space community to set standards and policies which encourage
responsible activity in space to avoid collisions that can cause catastrophic damage to satellites.
“We are so pleased that LeoLabs have chosen to invest in New Zealand because it has big benefits for our space industry
– it proves what we are capable of, creates important global connections and helps us meet our international obligations
as a launching state by improving our access to data.”
LeoLabs and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Innovative Partnerships team signed an agreement in
September 2018 to work together on space-related R projects.
“This government is committed to increasing R spend to 2% of GDP by 2027. This is an ambitious goal, but one that is incredibly important if we want to transform our
economy to one that is fit for the 21st Century.
“LeoLabs are a great example of the kind of businesses we want to attract to New Zealand – R intensive, innovative and aligned with our values as a nation.”