SWF Leads Discussions on Cislunar Activities, Space Norms, and Industry Best Practices at 2020 Virtual AMOS Conference

Thursday, September 24, 2020

For the eighth year, SWF staff contributed to the annual Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies (AMOS) Conference. which was held virtually this year from Sept. 16-18, 2020. SWF helped organize and actively participated in the Policy Forum held at the beginning of each day of the conference, which consisted of a keynote speaker followed by a panel discussion on a policy topic related to space situational awareness (SSA), and also organized a side event, the AMOS Dialogue, to discuss issues related to SSA data sharing.

The first day of the conference kicked off with a keynote from Major General Stephen Whiting, Commander of Space Operations Command for the United States Space Force. General Whiting. He was followed by a panel discussion on "Extending SSA and Space Domain Awareness (SDA) to Cislunar Space" that was moderated by SWF Director of Program Planning Dr. Brian Weeden. Dr. Weeden's panel included Dr. Brien Flewelling, Chief SSA Architect at ExoAnalytic Solutions; Mr. Dan Hendrickson, Vice President of Business Development at Astrobotic; Dr. Jerry Krassner, Emerging Capabilities Mission Area for the Space Development Agency; and Dr. Jessy Kate Schingler, Director of Policy and Governance at the Open Lunar Foundation. The panel discussed why it was important to extend SSA and SDA to cislunar and lunar space to enhance the safety, security, and sustainability of space activities in those regions, the technical limitations of existing SSA and SDA architectures and what new technologies or capabilities are needed, and the policy and governance implications. 

The second day of the conference began with a keynote by Quentin Verspieren, a doctoral student with the Science, Technology, and Innovation Governance Program Graduate School of Public Policy at The University of Tokyo, to discuss geopolitical, cultural, and bureaucratic challenges with space traffic management (STM). The keynote was followed by a panel discussion on "Challenges and Opportunities in Developing Norms of Behavior" moderated by SWF Washington Office Director Ms. Victoria Samson. Ms. Samson's panel included Mr. David Edmondson, Policy Head for Space Security and Advanced Threats with the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office; BGen (ret) Bruce McClintock, Space Enterprise Initiative Lead at RAND; Dr. Jessica West, Senior Researcher at Project Ploughshares; and BGen Rick Zellmann, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Plans and Policy Directorate at U.S. Space Command. The panel discussed why it was important to develop norms of behavior for commercial, civil, and military space activities, what norms of behavior for space currently exist and the gaps; and the challenges faced by previous space norms efforts that can inform future efforts. 

The third day of the AMOS conference began with a keynote by Mr. Mark Dankberg, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer for Viasat, on the importance of developing new mechanisms to deal with orbital debris. The keynote was followed by a panel discussion on the "Evolution of Industry Best Practices for Space Sustainability" moderated by SWF Director of Private Sector Programs Mr. Ian A. Christensen. Mr. Christensen's panel included Mr. Chris Blackerby, Chief Operating Officer for Astroscale; Ms.Therese Jones, Senior Director of Policy for the Satellite Industry Association; Mr. Dan Oltrogge, Director of the Center for Space Standards and Innovation at Analytical Graphics, Inc.; and Dr. Danielle Wood, Assistant Professor of Media Arts & Sciences and Aeronautics & Astronautics at MIT Media Lab. The panel discussed the various private sector initiatives currently underway to develop or encourage industry best practices and space sustainability and how those efforts can complement each other. 

The virtual AMOS Conference also included the second EMER-GEN, a joint program from the AMOS Conference and the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) designed especially for young professionals and students (35 and under) enthusiastic about careers in space. The virtual EMER-GEN program offered mentoring with renowned space leaders; interactive professional development sessions; technical short courses; and networking with other young professionals. Dr. Weeden provided a short pre-recorded lesson SSA to help inform this year's EMER-GEN working groups. 

On Monday, September 21, 2020, following the AMOS Conference, SWF and the Maui Economic and Development Board (MEDB) held the eighth annual AMOS Dialogue in Maui, a small, invitation-only workshop to foster dialogue on SSA policy issues. This year's Virtual AMOS Dialogue brought together more than 30 experts from industry, academia, and government to discuss data fusion and other science and technology priorities for improving SSA and space traffic management and how they can be addressed through policy and international collaboration. A summary report from the Dialogue will be available soon.

For more information, please contact Dr. Brian Weeden or Ms. Victoria Samson.

Last updated on September 30, 2020