WASHINGTON — The Space Systems Command announced March 24 it has selected 18 vendors to provide data analytics and software services to help decision makers analyze information about the space domain.

The companies are Agility Consulting, August Schell Enterprises, Avantus Federal, BAE Systems, Bluestaq, C3 AI, Enlighten IT Consulting, Ernst & Young, Kinetica, MAG Aerospace., Map Large, Meroxa.io, NT Concepts, Oracle America, Palantir, Raft, Royce Geospatial Consultants and World Wide Technology

These vendors will compete for $900 million worth of task orders under an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract over the next five years.

IDIQ is a flexible type of contract that doesn’t require the government to list the exact quantities of the product or services it needs and allows agencies to adjust their requirements over the life of the contract.

This IDIQ contract is in support of the Space C2 (command and control) program that the U.S. Air Force started in 2018 to integrate and analyze space domain awareness data from multiple sources for more accurate and faster monitoring of outer space.

Faster analytics

The Space Systems Command’s Space C2 office for the past two years has been working to transition data stovepipes into a commercial data analytics platform developed by Palantir

The platform, named Warp Core, was designed to enable better data sharing. Space Force operators who monitor and track objects in orbit for decades have relied on legacy datasets for information on space objects and manually organize it in Excel spreadsheets. The new data- as-a-service platform automates that entire process.

Warp Core was activated in October 2021. The vendors under the IDIQ contract will work with the Warp Core platform and provide “capabilities that require the aggregation of massive amounts of data from disparate sources and systems,” said the Space Systems Command.

The Warp Core data platform is part of the ATLAS system, short for Advanced Tracking and Launch Analysis. The Space Force is fielding ATLAS, which was developed by L3Harris, to replace the aging SPADOC, or Space Defense Operations Center. This comes after many years of unsuccessful efforts to modernize outdated space tracking and domain awareness systems.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...