COLORADO SPRINGS – Peraton is enhancing telemetry, tracking and control platform OS/Comet to address challenges and opportunities posed by massive constellations, cloud computing and hosted payloads.

“We’ve been doing mission management, mission planning, command and control of satellites for multiple decades across many different missions,” Roger Mason, Peraton Space, Intelligence and Cyber sector president, told SpaceNews. “The interesting thing we are showing at the Space Symposium is our eye toward the future.”

Originally, Herndon, Virginia-based Peraton designed OS/Comet to handle as many as 1,000 satellites. Since companies are proposing even larger constellations, Peraton has made OS/Comet compatible with cloud computing.

“With cloud operations, you can fly any number of satellites by integrating the software as a service containers that are out in the cloud,” said Steve Smith, Peraton advanced programs senior manager.

Overall, Peraton is making OS/Comet less like standalone command and control software and more like a platform customers can augment with specific mission applications, Mason said.

Peraton also is updating OS/Comet for hosted payloads. Peraton supports the roughly 150 to 200 hosted payloads on the Iridium Next constellation including 75 Aireon aircraft-tracking payloads. With OS/Comet, Peraton plans hosted payload missions, performs telemetry, issues commands and records data gathered, Smith said.

As proliferated constellations begin to take shape in low Earth orbit, Peraton expects to see more hosted payloads.

Some satellite constellation developers are building spacecraft with a little extra room for hosted payloads, Mason said. Once the constellation operators establish interface requirements, customers with payloads of the appropriate size, weight and power will pay a premium for the “beach front property,” he added.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...