WAILEA, Hawaii — It is possible to build improved space traffic management approaches to ensure safe operations in space, a panel of experts in the field said Sept. 18, but it will require more transparency among satellite operators.
A panel at the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies, or AMOS, conference here, was asked to look ahead 10 years to what they envisioned the state of space situational awareness (SSA) would be.
Most were optimistic about that future, even with the projected growth in the number of launches and satellites. T.S. Kelso, senior research astrodynamicist at Analytical Graphics Inc., projected much more, and better, data coming from commercial providers, ultimately resulting in a “global SSA co-op or marketplace,” as well as widespread adoption of tracking devices that can be added to spacecraft and upper stages to make them easier to track.
He and others, though, said that satellite operators needed to be more open to sharing information about the positions of their satellites and maneuvers with others. “I think increased transparency is key. Share your data,” said Walter Everetts, vice president of satellite operations and ground development at Iridium. “There is no such thing as keeping it close the ...