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Air Force Developing Technology to Track Space Traffic Near Moon

Under a U.S. Air Force small enterprise innovation contract, a team of area startups is engaged on an idea to…

By Emelia Murison , in News Space , at April 15, 2020 7:47 AM EDT Tags: , ,

Under a U.S. Air Force small enterprise innovation contract, a team of area startups is engaged on an idea to collect and analyze information about objects and actions in cislunar space near the moon.

Air Force Developing Technology to Track Space Traffic Near Moon

The research is led by Rhea Space Activity, a startup based in Washington, D.C., which collaborated with Saber Astronautics, a company headquartered in Australia with U.S.-based operations in Colorado. They will suggest using a 3-dimensional house situational awareness portal to trace objects and analyze information. The businesses announced on April 6 they won a $50,000 Air Force research contract to develop an idea for amassing and managing lunar intelligence.

Data about objects in cislunar space analyzed by Rhea Space Exercise will be displayed and analyzed in a “space cockpit,” a floor mission management tool being developed below a separate Air Force small business innovation contract awarded to Saber Astronautics in 2019.

A commercial model of the area cockpit is utilized by satellite operators to observe, fly, and diagnose problems in spacecraft.

The businesses will complete the cislunar space intelligence research in about three months and then submit a proposal for a Phase 2 contract to begin developing the technology.

Cameo Lance, a physicist at Rhea Space Activity, stated that the development of a brand new lunar intelligence discipline is inevitable because the U.S. military seeks to expand its capabilities past geosynchronous orbit to compete with China.