NOAA gives first look at space traffic control system plan

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has taken the lead on building a satellite traffic coordination system to gather data from other government agencies and major satellite operators.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is developing a contract to build what essentially looks like a traffic control system for satellites.

NOAA is the lead agency for an intergovernmental effort to build the Traffic Coordination System for Space, or TraCSS. A new sources sought notice says NOAA wants to hire a systems integration and cloud management service provider to build out that system.

The agency envisions that system as being able to distribute data for space traffic management and space traffic coordination use.

The contract’s development can be traced back to the 2018 U.S. National Space Council, which wrote a policy directive for government agencies to move away from individually managing their satellite traffic to a coordinated approach.

NOAA plans to use TraCSS to collect and analyze data for creating space situational awareness data and products. The system will use data from the Defense and State departments, NOAA, commercial and civil satellite owners/operators and select international civil government partners.

The agency wants comments on whether it should hire a systems integrator to build TraCSS as a custom endeavor with custom software, or whether ithere are existing commercial products that could fulfill the requirement.

Comments on the request for information are due Oct. 31. There currently isn’t an estimated value for the contract.