AGI's Commercial Space Operations Center, or ComSpOC. Credit: AGI

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force awarded orbit-modeling software provider AGI a contract valued at $8.4 million for a subscription service for data from the company’s Commercial Space Operations Center, or ComSpOC, the Pentagon announced Sept. 29.

Exton, Pennsylvania-based AGI established the ComSpOC about two years ago in collaboration with other companies to provide a commercial alternative to the Air Force-led Joint Space Operations Center for data on satellite locations, orbits and potential on-orbit collisions. The virtual center relies on a network of ground-based optical and radio-frequency sensors, software and orbital data either publicly available from sources including the Air Force or voluntarily provided by commercial satellite operators.

The contract is AGI’s first with a U.S. government customer for ComSpOC services. AGI has announced one commercial contract for ComSpOC services, to support early orbital maneuvers and operations of a pair of Boeing-built all-electric telecommunications satellites that were launched in March.

According to the Pentagon announcement, work under the firm-fixed price, sole-source contract will be carried out at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado and will be completed by July 30, 2016.

AGI had yet to put out a statement on the contract a press time Oct. 2, but industry sources said the work likely is associated with the newly established Joint Interagency Coalition Space Operations Center. That center, a joint effort of the Air Force and intelligence community to simulate space warfighting scenarios, officially began operating Oct. 1.

AGI is also a key contractor on larger effort to upgrade the Joint Space Operations Center, which relies largely on government owned sensors on the ground and in space to provide space situational awareness.

Warren Ferster is the Editor-in-Chief of SpaceNews and is responsible for all the news and editorial coverage in the weekly newspaper, the Web site and variety of specialty publications such as show dailies. He manages a staff of seven reporters...