Understanding the Influence of Space Situational Awareness on Commercial Space Development

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 7:30am

Understanding the value of space traffic management (STM) and space situational awareness (SSA) in managing investment and planning risk for the space industry is essential to promote envisioned commercial space operations. Efforts to model the health and sustainability of the space economy are complicated by the lack of conceptual models accounting for complex, non‐linear feedback and influence relationships across policy, regulatory, technology, and other domains. To further our understanding, MITRE is developing a forecasting model of space industry activity that enables dynamic modeling of factors across mission life‐cycles that influence perceptions of space safety and sustainability, business considerations such as risk and insurability, business model factors such as launch costs, regulatory and licensing processes, and other factors that can advance or inhibit space economy growth. This paper presents the initial conceptual model, which is a first step toward a capability to inform and improve decision processes aiming to concurrently grow the U.S. space economy while improving overall space safety and sustainability. In addition, the paper gives special attention to unique needs for shared situational awareness in a contested environment as a factor in successful space commercialization.