WASHINGTON — Kayhan Space is offering a version of its space traffic coordination platform for universities, a move the company says is intended to help teach students best practices for sustainable space operations.

The Broomfield, Colorado-based company rolled out March 19 Pathfinder Classroom, a version of its Pathfinder system designed for use by universities. The system is intended to give student satellite programs access to space safety services while also serving as a learning tool.

“They don’t really teach conjunction assessment, collision avoidance, spaceflight safety as a course. You don’t go to school to learn these things,” said Araz Feyzi, chief technology officer and co-founder of Kayhan Space, in an interview. “Let’s solve the root of this problem and give them the tools that gives them the means to learn this particular, very niche area.”

Siamak Hesar, the chief executive and other co-founder of the company, has first-hand experience with the issue from his time as a student at the University of Southern California (USC), where he worked on a cubesat project. “When we were going through that process, our only concern was to build a cubesat and launch it,” he recalled, with no thought to issues like collision avoidance.

USC is the first school to sign up for Pathfinder Classroom. “Kayhan Space has opened the door to ensuring our space program is fully capable of flying our satellite missions safely and securely,” said Dave Barnhart, director of USC’s Space Engineering Research Center, in a statement. “Providing this as a service to university space programs not only helps predict best orbits prior to launch but instills the importance of assessing the space environment around Earth as students enter the industry and government to lead future missions.”

Kayhan is in discussions with several other universities about Pathfinder Classroom, which Feyzi and Hesar said is not just for schools building their own satellites. The platform includes what they called a “high-fidelity simulation environment” that gives students the ability to test dealing with potential conjunctions and coordinating maneuvers.

The goal of Pathfinder Classroom is to educate students about the value of space safety before they enter the workforce. “It’s about ensuring that the next generation of leaders have the right mindset coming into this industry and that we take the right steps to make sure the U.S. is leading the charge when it comes to space traffic coordination,” said Hesar.

The student version of Pathfinder comes as Kayhan builds up a base of customers for the main version. Feyzi said the company has signed up 29 satellite operators with a goal of 50 by the end of the year. Those current customers account for the majority of operational conjunctions excluding SpaceX’s Starlink constellation. “We’ve had great adoption so far,” he said.

The company also won an order from the Office of Space Commerce Feb. 29 to provide space situational awareness (SSA) data quality monitoring services. Kayhan, along with SpaceNav, will evaluate the quality of SSA data provided by companies participating in the office’s Consolidated Pathfinder program as it develops the Traffic Coordination System for Space, or TraCSS, system.

Hesar said the data quality services it will provide for the TraCSS Consolidated Pathfinder leverage existing company capabilities, but customized for that particular effort. “Because of our unique position in that we don’t own data, we can be an unbiased third-party,” he said.

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...