information technology and software
Space Traffic Management (STM) Architecture
As ever larger numbers of spacecraft seek to make use of Earth's limited orbital volume in increasingly dense orbital regimes, greater coordination becomes necessary to ensure these spacecraft are able to operate safely while avoiding physical collisions, radio-frequency interference, and other hazards. While efforts to date have focused on improving Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and enabling operator to operator coordination, there is growing recognition that a broader system for Space Traffic Management (STM) is necessary. The STM architecture forms the framework for an STM ecosystem, which enables the addition of third parties that can identify and fill niches by providing new, useful services. By making the STM functions available as services, the architecture reduces the amount of expertise that must be available internally within a particular organization, thereby reducing the barriers to operating in space and providing participants with the information necessary to behave responsibly. Operational support for collision avoidance, separation, etc., is managed through a decentralized architecture, rather than via a single centralized government-administered system. The STM system is based on the use of standardized Application Programming Interfaces (API) to allow easier interconnection and conceptual definition of roles to more easily allow suppliers with different capabilities to add value to the ecosystem. The architecture handles basic functions including registration, discovery, authentication of participants, and auditable tracking of data provenance and integrity. The technology is able to integrate data from multiple sources.