Autonomous Laser Threat Detection Sensor

Threats by laser radiation to space-based assets have been reported several times in public news and media in the past years. Hence, such events need to be considered in the risk management of today’s satellite owners. Jena-Optronik developed a laser threat detection sensor called ASTROlas, which is able to provide key information (e.g. origin, wavelength and intensity) of such events.

Laser radiation for either tracking or blending of a satellite or spacecraft is a high risk for sensitive optical instruments. Furthermore, laser radiation is able to degrade the efficiency of solar panels and it is therefore a risk to the overall performance of a satellite or spacecraft.

As an answer to such threats, we developed the autonomous sensor ASTROlas, which allows satellite-based laser threat detection, identification and tracking.

Highlights - ASTROlas features and design parameters:

  • Composed of optical head and electronic box
  • Radiation-hard as well as compact and robust mechanical design
  • Single FPGA for data processing
  • Wide field lenses (>100° FoV) optimized for laser detection
  • as well as:

Four spectral channels:

  • Dedicated lens for laser spot Imaging
  • Bandwidth and center wavelength of each channel is adaptable

InGaAs (IndiumGalliumArsenid) detectors:

  • Broadband spectral sensitivity resulting in a wavelength range from 0.4 to 1.7µm
  • Laser pulse detection capability

System performance criteria:

  • Differentiation between pulsed and constant laser beams
  • Laser power density determination (radiometry)
  • Overlay of 2D-image and detected laser beam

Exploring a new world: NASA’s Psyche mission spacecraft equipped with sensor technology from Jena

Jena-Optronik provides autonomous star sensors to Maxar for the attitude control system of the Psyche spacecraft.

read more

Heinrich Hertz mission launched with star sensors “Made in Jena” on board

Two of Jena-Optronik’s ASTRO APS star sensors enable the attitude and orbit control of the German geostationary communication satellite, which was developed and built by OHB System AG.

read more

All News-Articles


As we are turning 30 years, we a delighted to give you insights on our history as well as future missions with space technology made by Jena-Optronik.

read more

ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer was our guest!

A very excited #teamspace met Matthias Maurer on November 27, 2023.

read more

All Blog-Articles

Space photography

Apollo astronauts as photographers: stunning pictures of our blue marble, the moon and astronauts' lifes 

read more

Space: It’s all around us

Space inspires us all and creates a wealth of knowledge

read more

All Knowledgeplatform-Articles


  • September 18-19, 2024
    ESA Industry Space Days, Nordwijk, the Netherlands
  • September 16-20, 2024
    World Satellite Business Week, Paris, France
  • August 03-08, 2024
    Small Satellite Conference, Logan, Utah, USA
  • June 5-9, 2024 (Kopie)
    ILA, Berlin, Germany - Hall 4, Booth 422 & Space Pavilion
  • May 27-31, 2024
    ESA 4S Symposium 2024, Palma de Mallorca, Spain - Booth 20