Independent Experts Review TraCSS Program
On January 24, NOAA’s Office of Space Commerce convened its newly established Independent Review Board (IRB) to brief the Traffic Coordination System for Space (TraCSS) program and receive advice and feedback from the members. The IRB consists of six well-recognized experts in space program management and space situational awareness (SSA). They serve on a voluntary basis, with each member providing independent advice based upon their individual knowledge and experience.
“We are honored to have such a deep base of talent to help ‘red team’ our program,” said Richard DalBello, Director of the Office of Space Commerce. “Their decades of experience will help us avoid pitfalls and roadblocks to the success of our critical spaceflight safety program.”
The members of the IRB for the TraCSS program are:
- Lt Gen Susan Helms, USAF, Retired (Chair). Former Joint Forces Command Commander for Space, United States Strategic Command, providing tailored, responsive, local and global space effects in support of national and combatant commander objectives. She operates her own consulting company, Orbital Visions, LLC.
- Dr. Terry Alfriend. Professor and Holder of the Jack E. & Francis Brown Chair II and University Distinguished Professor, Texas A & M University. With 50+ years of diverse aerospace experience in the private sector, government, and academia, he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and recipient of the AIAA Goddard Astronautics Award.
- Maj Gen Kim Crider, USAF, Retired. Former Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for the United States Space Force, overseeing a $2.5B space science & technology portfolio and directing a $750M IT, cybersecurity and digital services portfolio. She is a Founding Partner for Elara Nova, a global advisory firm focused on space.
- Dr. T.S. Kelso. Creator, chief scientist, and CTO of CelesTrak, providing orbital data, software, and educational materials to the space community since 1985 in support of safety of flight and responsible use of the Earth orbital environment.
- Col David Madden, USAF, Retired. Former Commander, GPS Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, developing the next generation of satellites, ground systems, and military user equipment for the Global Positioning System.
- Col Charlie McGillis, USAF, Retired. Vice President, Public Sector, of The Provenance Chain Network, a supply chain transparency software company. She also advises companies on strategy, business development and how to engage with DoD as the Founder & CEO of 2 Polaris & Beyond, LLC. She was most recently the Senior Vice President of Government Relations & Strategy at Slingshot Aerospace, a commercial SSA firm, and previously served 26 years in the Air Force.
The Office of Space Commerce is developing TraCSS to provide basic SSA data and services to civil and private space operators and to support spaceflight safety, space sustainability, and international coordination. TracSS will be implemented in a phased “crawl, walk, run” development approach.
The IRB was chartered by NOAA to provide guidance, on an individual basis by the members of the board, on the development of TraCSS, including: program milestones; risk identification and mitigation; program management; system engineering processes; and operational concept and processes.
The members received an initial overview of the program and provided individual feedback to the Office of Space Commerce. The IRB will reconvene on a periodic basis over the coming years as the TraCSS program progresses through agile development cycles towards initial operations and beyond.