Space Situational Awareness (SSA) statistics utilized by satellite operatives are not precise enough in order to assist the assessments. They require to decide on how to maneuver their vehicle in order to avoid probable collisions.

On 15th September at the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies (AMOS) Conference a paper was shown. This is along with representatives with the COMSPOC Corporation, which specializes in industrial SSA. They made a glance at the numerous methodologies satellite operatives used. This is in order to decide if they require to make a collision prevention maneuver. In addition, they also compared it to the precision of the statistics they apply to base “go/no-go” choices for those maneuvers.

Dan Oltrogge is the director of integrated operations and research at COMSPOC. He mentions that a study of participants of the Space Data Association (a group of satellite operators) shared no consensus in the conditions they use up to verify what is a “high-interest” close approach. This is in either –
  • Low Earth orbit
  • Geostationary orbit
The example, GEO operators utilize a maximum of a likely miss distance –
  • ranging from 1,000 – 15,000 meters
  • a probability of collision ranging from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 1 billion

With an interpretation of those wildly fluctuating levels, COMSPOC then examined how well current SSA statistics help those operators’ decision-making practices. “Typical information is not meeting their requirements. It is not precise enough to make use of it in the way of its utilization,” says Oltrogge.

That needs few changes in the thinking by operatives. “We have a tradition here of utilizing best accessible data and thinking that it is all we have, so let’s be glad about it,” he adds. “Instead, I desire us as a society to think out what precisions we want, and then figure out what we want to meet those obligations.”

There are signs that operators are wanting to distribute SSA information, Oltrogge adds. “If you can get that into a thorough information combination system where it is blended with government and industrial SSA observations. That is when you can actually get precise and actionable SSA products.”

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