Space Traffic Management

Increased access to space has created a congested environment that impacts satellite operators both domestically and internationally. In response, Space Policy Directive – 3[1] directed the development of a Space Traffic Management (STM) capability[2]. The Department of Commerce is leading this effort[3]. The 18th Space Control Squadron currently provides collision avoidance notifications to satellite operators to facilitate the responsible use of space. The 18th SCS services are provided free to U.S. satellite operators[4] as well as international satellite operators. The current expectation is that the Department of Commerce will take the place of the 18th SCS in providing a free basic service, thereby allowing the 18th SCS to focus on its primary mission serving national security needs. 

Full piece here.


[2] Similar terms also include Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and the more recent Space Domain Awareness (SDA). 


[4] Also known as “Owner/Operator” or O/O