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Space Data Association celebrates 10 years of operations with Space Data Center

The SDA, coupled with its SDC operational capability, has proven to provide valuable support to satellite operators over the last decade.

The Space Data Association (SDA) is celebrating 10 years of operation following the creation of the Space Data Center (SDC) on July 15, 2010. 

The SDA is a non-profit international organisation that brings together major satellite companies to contribute towards the safety of space operations and maintaining the integrity of the space environment. The SDA, coupled with its SDC operational capability, has proven to provide valuable support to satellite operators over the last decade, enabling reliable and efficient data sharing that is vital for maintaining the safety of operations in Space.

The SDC is a collective resource that collates independent data from operators with public catalogues to ensure the safety of flight and prevent collisions. The SDC is receiving and processing owner/operator data for well over 50% of the active satellites at geostationary orbit and over 30% at LEO. The SDC was developed and is maintained by the SDA’s Developer and Chief Technical Consultant, Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI). 

Daniel Oltrogge, Director of AGI’s Center for Space Standards and Innovation and Program Manager for the SDC, commented: “The SDA and SDC have played a vital role in helping spacecraft operators to exchange and standardise data and improve space situational awareness. Across a decade of operations, the SDC has positioned itself as an important resource in the space industry, providing conjunction assessment and warning services as well as authoritative contact information for space operators.”

The SDC has implemented a rigorous process of ‘normalising’ operator data, by performing validated conversions into a standard reference frame, timing system, units and elements. As a leading safety-of-flight analysis centre, the SDC has also been an active participant and tester of new SSA capabilities provided by the CSpOC/18 SPCS, such as the release of analyst satellite data and SP ephemerides. The SDA has contributed to regaining track custody and flight safety by supporting the resolution of cross-tags, the identification of missed manoeuvres, and by sharing operator data.

Pascal Wauthier, Chairman of SDA, remarked: “Partnership and collaboration have proved instrumental to the success and longevity of the SDA and SDC over the last 10 years. The organisation has always championed collaboration and information sharing, and it is this model which continues to mitigate risk for all operators. However, it’s undeniable that space is becoming significantly more crowded. Now that the Space Situational Awareness operational concept and system parameters have been set, our long-term focus is to ensure that governments take control of ensuring space safety and sustainability.”

The SDA will be joining AGI and the Secure World Foundation on July 29 at 6:00 pm UAE Time to discuss spaceflight safety over the past decade.