Mark Rawlins, Eutelsat’s Director of Communication System Operations, has been elected as the new Chairman of the Space Data Association (SDA), an international non-profit association of satellite operators that supports the controlled, reliable and efficient sharing of space environment and RF spectrum data.
Rawlins succeeds the current SDA Chairman, Ronald Busch who is Vice President of Network Engineering for Intelsat.
The SDA was set up in 2009 by the international commercial satellite operator community to coordinate activity and safeguard space-based infrastructure in the space environment in which satellites are operating.
The organisation runs the Space Data Center, an automated space situational awareness system designed to reduce the risks of on-orbit collisions and radio frequency interference. Today the SDA counts 25 participating satellite operators accounting for 374 satellites of which 237 are GEO and 137 LEO/MEO.
“The SDA is making a significant contribution to enhancing the safety of satellite operations, and safeguarding the operational environment in space communications” Rawlins said. ”Our membership has steadily grown to embrace a broad range of members and participants. One of our key challenges going forward will be to enhance the services provided by the SDA to make for a better working environment for all space borne services for all industry sectors with a particular focus on the Radio Frequency environment. This will need to happen in the same spirit in which the SDA was created, to be able share data in a safe way that improves the efficiency and coordination of activities.”