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Introducing the Commercial Space Operations Center (ComSpOC)

By: Paul W
The technology evolutionary process described by Moore’s Law has created possibilities that were previously unimaginable. Digital cameras and radio navigation are examples of once exclusive capabilities that have evolved to become affordable and widely available. A space business example is remote sensing, where the expanding market for imagery and data derived from space-based platforms paved the way for offerings from the commercial sector. Space is also undergoing a transformation—with more operators than ever before, it is becoming increasingly crowded with both satellites and debris at an accelerating rate. Safety of flight is a real issue for all operators and radio frequency interference (RFI) is a daily concern. Now more than ever, operators need situational awareness of what is happening in space. A commercial market for space situational awareness (SSA) is an idea whose time has come. AGI’s Commercial Space Operations Center (ComSpOC) is a low-cost, highly accurate “next-generation space catalog” that serves as a commercial complement to existing government space tracking systems. We recently showcased the ComSpOC at the Japan Space Forum and at Satellite 2014, and the overwhelming response from the global commercial satellite operator community and those who build and operate SSA systems is that the robustness of our data represents a game-changing solution. What is ComSpOC? Like the NGA’s EnhancedView program, which brings high-quality commercial satellite imagery with improved resolution, accuracy, collection rates and agility to civilians and the military at significantly less cost, ComSpOC is a commercial solution to SSA. With ComSpOC, AGI builds upon our experience developing world-class SSA solutions for the JSpOC and Space Data Center to provide a new way to look at the space environment. Leveraging data obtained from affordable commercial sensors and advanced commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, the ComSpOC offers more accuracy and readiness to satellite operators and intelligence analysts than other, more costly alternatives. How does it work? AGI is partnering with commercial, research and innovation organizations to establish a geographically diverse network made up of optical, radio frequency (RF), radar and space-based sensors that provides persistent day and night tracking of space objects. In particular, CCD arrays and precision timing electronics are two significant elements on the optical sensor side, along with commercially available telescopes. On the RF sensor side, we are bringing RF interferometric sensor capabilities to gather additional data on any space object that emits an RF signal. This technology is also mature and commercially available. Last and certainly not least, the secret sauce of the ComSpOC system is AGI’s SSA Software Suite, which provides the central data fusion and processing capability. It receives data from the entire network of sensors and automatically fuses it to produce a high-fidelity space catalog and a variety of data products. ComSpOC-generated data products are made accessible to subscribers via SpaceBook, a SOA-based, web services-enabled data and analysis subscription service. Through the SpaceBook interface, subscribers can access information for ComSpOC-tracked objects, such as monitoring the performance and safety of satellites and tracking the activity of other Resident Space Objects (RSOs) of interest. ComSpOC is bringing SSA into the commercial mainstream, making it affordable and achievable. We are excited that this increased awareness will improve the efficiency of operations and safety of flight for all. Learn more at or contact us.
Posted: 3/18/2014 2:55:36 PM