Raytheon and NORSS: Enhancing the quality of the UK’s orbital analysis

Raytheon, UK, has announced an agreement to acquire Northern Space and Security Ltd, in order to improve the quality of the UK’s orbital analysis.

Raytheon’s acquisition of Northern Space and Security Ltd (NORSS), combines its complementary capabilities to advance its offerings in space domain awareness.

NORSS is headquartered in the northeast of England and specialises in space domain awareness, orbital analysis, and space surveillance and tracking. The company delivers orbital analyst technical services to the UK Space Agency and provides critical capabilities to both government and UK satellite operators.

Additionally, NORSS is contracted with the Ministry of Defence to build a new simulator system for developing and testing future British military satellite systems and constellations. The company is committed to the development of the essential skills and experience required for orbital analysts to ensure the sustainability of the benefits from space in the long term.

“Bringing together the complementary capabilities of these two leading space companies will enhance the quality of the UK’s orbital analysis and space situational awareness technologies,” explained Jeff Lewis, chief executive of Raytheon UK. “It also answers a call made by the UK government for companies to invest in cutting-edge space technologies.”

Raytheon’s path towards building a global space capability for governments

Due to the increasingly congested and contested nature of space, there are plans for tens of thousands of new satellites to be launched within the next five years. Countries that intend to be a leader in space-based technologies require the space domain awareness capabilities that NORSS can provide. Therefore, Raytheon UK’s new agreement with NORSS is a critical step towards the company building a global space capability for governments. 

“The acquisition, upon completion, will facilitate expansion by NORSS through access to new markets,” concluded Ralph ‘Dinz’ Dinsley, Executive Director of NORSS. “As part of Raytheon Intelligence and Space, we will have expanded access to international markets, continued investments in research and development, and opportunities to collaborate on the next generation of space technologies.”

What is Raytheon UK?

Raytheon UK holds facilities across the United Kingdom, including Broughton, Livingston, Glenrothes, Harlow, Gloucester, and Manchester, and is invested in the British workforce and the development of UK technology. The company is considered a major supplier to the UK government, and currently employs 2,000 highly skilled people supporting the aerospace, defence, and space sectors. Raytheon UK is part of Raytheon Intelligence and Space, a Raytheon Technologies business.

What is NORSS?

NORSS was established in 2017 and is currently headquartered in Alnwick, which is in the northeast of England. The company has operations at NETPark, Sedgefield, County Durham, and Didcot in Oxfordshire. NORSS is dedicated to developing the critical capabilities and the experience required for end-to-end space situational awareness and understanding of activities on near-earth orbits. It is devoted to supporting the long-term sustainability of the benefits from space and to democratising data of space. NORSS operates its LEO Optical Camera Installation (LOCI) from Kielder Forest, Northumberland in a unique collaboration with the Kielder Observatory. This disruptive platform will revolutionise the management of satellites in orbit.

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