April 14th, 2011
The Space Data Association... Full Operational Capability Announced
The Space Data Association (SDA), established by commercial satellite operators to improve the safety and efficiency of space operations, has announced that its Space Data Center has completed its Full Operational Capability (FOC) readiness review. With this milestone, the SDA has determined that the system is ready to be employed and maintained, and FOC operations can begin. The SDA’s main technical adviser and systems developer, Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI), completed work on the data center less than a year after winning the contract. The Space Data Center is an automated space situational awareness system through which satellite operators share operator-owned orbital data. It provides full Conjunction Assessment (CA) capability (assessing the physical proximity of objects in space) and data sharing in support of radio frequency interference (RFI) mitigation. As participating satellite operators provide the data, it is the most up-to-date information available. The system also converts disparate data to a common format and performs integrity checks on contributed ephemerides, making the information more reliable. The SDC began initial operations in July 2010 for SDA founding members Inmarsat, Intelsat and SES and, with the transfer of AGI’s prototype SOCRATES geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) and low Earth orbit (LEO) conjunction assessment programs to the SDC in December 2010, the SDC now provides CA processing for more than 60 percent of all operational satellites in GEO. The SDA is also pursuing data-sharing agreements to improve the scope and quality of data available for these critical operations.