US Drops Term Space Situational Awareness

 In Australia, Land, Sea, Air, Space, Environment, Threats

That famil­iar and long­stand­ing acronym is no more. This is now called space domain aware­ness (SDA), accord­ing to a memo from the US Air Force Space Command.

How long before SDA becomes com­mon usage in Australia? Probably not long at all.

In the memo, USAF Space Command deputy com­man­der Major General John Shaw explained the change as in line with the chang­ing US view that space is now a domain of war­fare, like land, sea and air.

“The impli­ca­tion of space as a warfight­ing domain demands we shift our focus beyond the space sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness mind­set of a benign envi­ron­ment to achieve a more effec­tive and com­pre­hen­sive SDA, much the way the Navy works to achieve mar­itime domain aware­ness in sup­port of naval oper­a­tions and the Air Force strives for max­i­mum air domain aware­ness to achieve air supe­ri­or­i­ty,” Maj Gen Shaw stat­ed in the memo.

SpaceNews said the memo directs all space organ­i­sa­tions in the USAF to adopt the term SDA effec­tive imme­di­ate­ly.

“AFSPC per­son­nel will adopt the con­cept and def­i­n­i­tion of SDA to replace SSA mov­ing for­ward, use the term SDA in all future doc­u­ments and infuse SDA into doc­trine,” the memo said.

This defines SDA as the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion and under­stand­ing of any fac­tor, pas­sive or active, asso­ci­at­ed with the space domain that could affect space oper­a­tions and there­by impact the secu­ri­ty, safe­ty, econ­o­my or envi­ron­ment of the nation.

SDA requires the inte­gra­tion of lega­cy SSA-based met­ric obser­va­tions and intel­li­gence need­ed to iden­ti­fy, locate and track poten­tial threats to on-orbit space sys­tems, the memo said.

SDA must be pre­dic­tive and cur­rent, requir­ing the inte­gra­tion of intel­li­gence, met­ric obser­va­tions and envi­ron­men­tal mon­i­tor­ing to exe­cute space bat­tle man­age­ment in sup­port of mil­i­tary plans and oper­a­tions.

SSA and space debris expert Roger Thompson, a senior engi­neer at The Aerospace Corp, told SpaceNews the lead­ers of Air Force Space Command had been dis­cussing the change in ter­mi­nol­o­gy for some time.

They decid­ed that SDA was a bet­ter term to “get peo­ple think­ing more of space as a domain”.

Space and defence con­trac­tors who work with the Air Force on relat­ed activ­i­ties will need to be aware of this change, he said.

Hence the high like­li­hood that Australia will speed­i­ly fol­low the US in drop­ping SSA and mov­ing to SDA.

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Source: Space Connect

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