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Collision risk analysis and avoidance maneuver calculation software for EU SST users

11 May 2022.

Following an open European tender, the technology multinational GMV, European industry leader in space surveillance – Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) – has been awarded a new contract by the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) to develop software for advanced collision risk analysis and avoidance maneuver calculation for European satellite operators subscribed to the EU SST system’s collision avoidance service.

The new software, called CONAN (CONjunction ANalysis Software), will have a dual purpose: first, to increase the capabilities and improve the response times of the S3TOC (Spanish Space Surveillance and Tracking Operations Centre) and secondly, to provide European satellite operators subscribed to the EU SST system’s collision avoidance service with their own conjunction analysis capability, as it will also be deployed in their control centers.

CONAN will receive messages containing conjunction data for each operator’s satellites directly from the EU SST web portal for analysis. (The general purpose of this web portal is the provision of EU SST services.) It will also make it possible to analyze the collision risk calculation’s sensitivity to uncertainties in the orbits of the objects involved. Finally, it will provide the optimal avoidance maneuver for high-risk cases, also analyzing the effect of the maneuver on other possible subsequent conjunctions with the same or other objects. It will also feature a panel for monitoring statistics regarding the conjunction service.

In addition to the collision messages that the S3TOC and the French center (COO) publish on the EU SST web portal, CONAN will also be able to import messages issued by the equivalent American system (18-SDS, formerly known as JSpOC). This will allow operators to compare the information published by both sources in order to make the most appropriate decision in each case.

The CONAN software is a new development based largely on Closeap, GMV’s solution for collision risk calculation, part of the FocusSuite® product line for flight dynamics operations, also used within the S3TOC. The first version of CONAN was delivered to the CDTI in March and the final version will be provided by the end of 2022.

In the field of SST, GMV manages EU SST contracts in five countries (Spain, France, Germany, Poland, and Romania) and has additional capabilities and contracts in the UK and Portugal. It also works for the European Space Agency (ESA) and provides solutions and services in the commercial market through its own operations center, called focusoc. Altogether, over 70 GMV engineers work on SSA/SST activities in seven countries, making it the largest SSA/SST industry and team in Europe.

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