Office of Space Commerce Places Orders for SSA Data Quality Monitoring Pathfinder

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NOAA’s Office of Space Commerce (OSC) has placed new orders for space situational awareness (SSA) services with two U.S. commercial companies. The service orders will support OSC’s Consolidated Pathfinder project that will inform the development of its operational Traffic Coordination System for Space (TraCSS).

On February 29, 2024, OSC placed orders with the following companies to provide SSA data quality monitoring services for the Consolidated Pathfinder:

  • Kayhan Space of Broomfield, Colorado; and
  • SpaceNav of Boulder, Colorado.

OSC partnered with NASA to place the orders through the Global Data Marketplace, an online transaction system established by the Department of Defense in partnership with BlueStaq.

OSC previously announced its Global Data Marketplace orders with commercial SSA firms COMSPOC, LeoLabs, and Slingshot Aerospace to initiate the Consolidated Pathfinder. Under the new orders, Kayhan Space and SpaceNav will assess the accuracy, consistency, and quality of the commercial products provided by those three companies.

“The Consolidated Pathfinder effort is designed to explore how commercial SSA capabilities can be tested and integrated by the government,” said OSC Director Richard DalBello. “The lessons we learn in the pathfinder will accelerate our ability to field operational capabilities for the Traffic Coordination System for Space later this year.”

The Consolidated Pathfinder is a limited-term effort that focuses on SSA for the low Earth orbit (LEO) regime. OSC is spending a combined total of $11.5 million in orders to the five commercial companies supporting the Consolidated Pathfinder project.

The Consolidated Pathfinder will inform OSC’s buildout of the operational Traffic Coordination System for Space (TraCSS). OSC is developing TraCSS as a modern, cloud-based IT system that will provide basic SSA and space traffic coordination services to commercial and civil space operators for spaceflight safety, space sustainability, and international coordination. OSC is steadily progressing on building out the TraCSS architecture, with multiple inputs and on-ramps for commercial data, services, software, and innovation. 

OSC is preparing an order for a future TraCSS pathfinder on Improved Satellite Owner/Operator Ephemeris. That study will soon start an initial set-up phase with satellite operators. OSC plans to seek participation from commercial SSA service providers for funded services on this activity in the spring of 2024, via the Global Data Marketplace.

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