Charting Complex, Dynamic and Extra-Orbital Space Operations

How can we preserve and secure space for the benefit of all? Using the operational decisions that will confront space operators, we identify essential services and information exchanges for a complex environment.

Download Resources

Historically, space operations, and consequently the catalogs of space objects, have been largely focused on satellite activity around the earth. The picture was only dynamic to the extent that new objects would be added, and occasionally updated, and retired objects would disappear. The picture of debris would expand with each new discovery and better capabilities to spot smaller debris objects.

Even the dynamics of that level of space activity is a complex endeavor. With the addition of extra-orbital activity, constellations with autonomous formation management, maneuvers and rendezvous, short-lived cube satellites, and daily space tourist flights the things to be tracked in space will be unimaginably dynamic.

This paper addresses what must be known and how decision science and knowledge management can be leveraged to create the catalog of the future that addresses the increasing dynamic space environment. It begins by reviewing the types of interactions and behaviors that will require monitoring and decisions. Using the decisions, we shape what must be known by others and the information exchanges to represent more complex space operations.

A more dynamic catalog will also need to include the relationships between objects and the function of objects in terms of transmission and maneuver. Adding dynamics and relationships will extend the catalog from a static record to a playbook that will foster collaboration on changing operations across all classes of operations and performance in orbit and beyond.