SWF Director of Program Planning Dr. Brian Weeden Talks about Public Policy and the Evolution of Commercial SSA

Friday, March 31, 2017

On March 30, 2017, the George Washington University Space Policy Institute (SPI) and Universities Space Research Association (USRA) hosted a Symposium on Space Situational Awareness in Washington, DC. As part of the Symposium, SWF Director of Program Planning Dr. Brian Weeden participated in a panel discussion on Civil and Commercial Developments in SSA. The panel was moderated by Dr. Scott Pace from SPI and included Dr. George Nield, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at the Federal Aviation Administration; Dr. Lauri Newman, Conjunction Assessment Risk Analysis Manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center; Stacie Williams, Program Officer for Remote Sensing and Imaging Physics at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research; and Dr. T.S. Kelso, Senior Research Astrodynamicist with the Center For Space Standards And Innovation at Analytical Graphics Inc.

Dr. Weeden's remarks focused on the evolution of the commercial SSA sector, highlighting its rapid growth since the launch of AGI's Commercial Space Operations Center (ComSpOC) in 2014. Today, there are dozens of companies that are offering commercial SSA data, analysis software, and analysis products, and the growth is still continuing. However, there are several crucial public policy questions that need to be answered about the commercial SSA sector, including how to coordinate civil and national security requirements for SSA, which aspects of SSA data and services are public or private goods, the role of the government versus the role of the private sector in providing those goods, and how to incentivize innovation in SSA. Dr. Weeden pointed out that all of these questions are similar to those in other space sectors, such as remote sensing and weather, and that additional research and analysis was needed to determine whether lessons from those other domains could inform discussions on SSA. 


Last updated on March 31, 2017