The US Space Force’s Space Systems Command (SSC) is researching the industry for software concepts to support new systems for the space domain awareness mission conducted by several units, including the 18th Space Defense Squadron (18 SDS) on the Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, and the Joint Task Force-Space Defense at Schriever Space Force Base, Colo.
Such software “would support the decommissioning of existing legacy systems on the 18 SDS, including potential functionality of systems such as Space Defense Operations Center (SPADOC); Correlation, Analysis and Verification of Ephemerides Network (CAVENet); Astrodynamics Support Workstation (ASW); Special Disruptions Tasker (SP Tasker); [and] Non-Traditional Data Pre-Processor (NDPP),” according to a July 30 Request for Information (RFI).
It could also support mission field improvements such as tracking cooperative and non-cooperative Proliferated Low Earth Orbit launches, automating routine functions, etc. “This RFI supports the analysis for all of these opportunities, to inform future budget and program decisions. Additional individual RFIs may be issued to support other capabilities/requirements. Where possible, the [Space Force] would like to understand in your answers how your technology and operational concepts enable, connect and contribute all possibilities for this necessity. These organizations are also eager to understand the scalability and adaptability of your proposed concepts.”
Tracking objects in space relies on a number of systems.
Six Northrop Grumman [NOC] Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program is in orbit and the company is developing Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC) ground radar to enhance the company’s Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) system for the tracking deep space objects (Defense Daily, Apr 14). In February, US Space Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $341 million contract to build the first DARC radar, to be deployed in the Indo-Pacific region by 2025.
SSC has said accurate tracking of space debris and satellites will enable operators to be alerted in time to maneuver a satellite away from danger.
In April, SSC said the timeline for handling Space Force’s Unified Data Library (UDL) is uncertain, but Space Force is continuing a prototype effort for UDL to serve as a centralized, cloud-based data store for space domain awareness/space defense, and probably for the Department of the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) and the Pentagon’s Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) architecture (Defense DailyApr 14).
An organization that will make use of the UDL is the Joint Task Force-Space Defense in Schriever.
Last year, based in Colorado Bluestaq LLC received a $280 million contract to develop the UDL for Space Force (Defense DailyMay 4, 2021).
L3Harris Technologies’ [LHX] Advanced Tracking and Launch Analysis System (ATLAS) replaces SPADOC.
Space Force expects ATLAS to dramatically increase the speed of processing and integrating space domain awareness data from commercial, civilian and military space sensors.
omitron and Parsons Corp. [PSN] are subcontractors of L3Harris on ATLAS.
In 1989, SPADOC was last upgraded by the Department of the Air Force, founded in 1979 at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex of the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado.
ATLAS must extract data from the UDL and use machine-to-machine interfaces to accelerate the delivery of space domain consciousness data.
In October 2018, the Department of the Air Force awarded L3Harris a $53 million contract for ATLAS.