Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to help the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) develop technology for monitoring orbiting space assets and preventing satellite collisions.
Under the terms of the $3.9m contract, the company will continue the development of the non-traditional data pre-processor (NDPP) under the integrated space command-and-control (ISC2) contract.
An expansion of the ISC2 space data server, the NDPP is considered a significant step forward in exposing data in support of the protection of valuable space assets like the International Space Station (ISS).
Lockheed Martin IS&GS C4ISR Systems vice-president Rob Smith said enhanced situational awareness is needed to avoid rapidly moving debris in space.
”Space has no national borders so it’s important to share collected data to protect all the space assets currently orbiting the planet,” Smith said.
The NDPP is designed to extend the communications infrastructure enabling operators to share data between sensor and satellite sources worldwide with the joint space operations center (JSpOC) at Vandenberg Air Force Base (AFB), located in California, US.
The JspOC is responsible for maintenance of the space object catalogue that many countries depend on to protect their valuable investment.
Specifically, the NDPP will offer a conduit across multiple security levels, which will enable global sensor and satellite operators to share data to boost the accuracy of the space object catalogue.
The ISC2 provides conclusive and timely air and missile warning information to the US President, Joint Chiefs of Staff and Canadian Prime Minister if North America is attacked.
The system also provides space situational awareness to the US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) using inputs from the space surveillance network (SSN) for precise tracking and analysis of more than 23,000 space objects.