Commercial Data Monitoring for Satellite and Debris

The integration of commercial off the shelf (COTS) products have been slowly pushed towards the government and DoD because of the cost reduction and availability to be able to acquire a lot of data and testing on these products. However, even though COTS is beneficial for a lot of research and development it does have its limits due to potential security compromise. The U.S. military working more closely with commercial companies will greatly improve tracking capabilities for space debris due to the vast amount of debris in orbit. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) also has reported that the DoD is insufficient in being able to evaluate data obtained commercially for space situational awareness. However, within some agencies there are capabilities that allow for space debris tracking but unfortunately, the data that UDL generates is not compatible with many military and government systems.

One of the best benefits is that it allows for the DoD to not be engaged politically because of security concerns. At the same time most of the capabilities of the ground station available to the military can only be able to track space debris that is roughly 10 cm in LEO, and roughly 1 m in GEO. There are some COTS capabilities that can be able to track space debris that are roughly 2 cm in diameter compared to the military antennas and sensors. There will be more opportunities and potential for breaches, because there are more variables at play when COTS are being utilized.