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UK sets out future space domain awareness requirements

RAF Flylingdales in North Yorkshire supports the UK Space Operations Centre and is capable of tracking objects in space, including satellites and debris, up to 3,000 mile away. (DVIDS/Robert Lingley)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the UK Space Agency have published a joint space domain awareness (SDA) report that outlines their potential future requirements.

The requirements, as detailed in the Cross Government SDA Requirements Publication on 21 July, will be delivered within a dual-use military and civil SDA system of systems.

SDA is defined in the publication as “the provision of security-focused, decision-quality information that can be used to successfully mitigate adversary space effects while supporting the integration of allied space effects into multi-domain operations”.

An MoD spokesperson told Janes that this system-of-systems approach will “incorporate an evolving range of data sources and analysis tools to generate space domain awareness. This will be based on both existing and new tools, combined with data sources from [the] UK, allied, and commercial sensors, to maximise opportunities for dual-use. This work will continue to progress this year, initially utilising existing sensors and commercial data, to deliver a constantly evolving and adapting mechanism to generate the required level of understanding of the space domain for both military and civilian space operators”.

This will involve continuing to develop the country's SDA capabilities, including those provided by Royal Air Force (RAF) Fylingdales, to enhance the UK's ability to detect, track, characterise, and attribute objects in space, the publication said.

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