Space Data Center Begins Initial Operations

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The Space Data Association (SDA) launched initial operations July 27 of the Space Data Center, an automated space situational awareness system expected to reduce the chance of satellite collisions and frequency interference.

The Space Data Center’s initial capabilities include conjunction assessment for 126 satellites in geostationary satellite owned by Inmarsat, Intelsat and SES, the satellite operators that founded the Isle of Man-based SDA in 2009.

When fully operational in early 2011, the Space Data Center also will support radio frequency interference mitigation, according to a joint press release issued July 27 by SDA and Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI), the Exton, Pa.-based commercial software firm developing and operating the Space Data Center system.

“The [initial operating capability] represents a significant milestone in the SDA’s development,” SDA Chairman and Director Stewart Sanders said in a statement. “We are working to quickly expand the SDA’s satellite operator membership and obtain greater access to high-accuracy data.”

SDA expects more commercial and government satellite operators to join the international nonprofit.