WASHINGTON - The U.S. Space Force will begin sharing valuable space situational awareness data with the United Kingdom as part of Operation Olympic Defender, the service announced Aug. 14.
Under a recently signed agreement, the Space Force will share it’s Standardized Astrodynamics Algorithm Library with the U.K.‘s Ministry of Defense. SAAL is a collection of the Space Force’s understanding of orbital physics and algorithms that helps the service predict the trajectories of objects on orbit.
“Aggressive actions in space must be deterred through a multinational, coordinated effort, allowing for the defense and protection or our collective capabilities,” said Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt, USSF director of Operations and Communications, in a statement. “Sharing the SAAL with our coalition partners enables greater cooperation and coordination between the U.S. and our Allies.”
The agreement comes as part of Operation Olympic Defender, an American-led coalition of space-faring allies working together to deter hostile actions in space, strengthen deterrence against hostile actors and address the growing issue of orbital debris. Operation Olympic Defender was officially taken over by U.S. Space Command in May and is located at the Combined Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The U.K. was the first nation to join Operation Olympic Defender and is the first to receive access to the SAAL. Under the new arrangement, that nation’s Space operations Center will now be better able to collaborate with the Space Force, sharing algorithms and data to better predict orbital trajectories.
The Space Force is looking to share the SAAL with more partners within Operation Olympic Defender. According to the announcement, the Secretary of the Air Force’s International Affairs Office, SPACECOM and the Space Force have recognized a new framework that will allow other coalition partners to begin receiving SAAL. SPACECOM has signed a number of space data sharing agreements with other countries in recent months.
Nathan Strout was the staff editor at C4ISRNET, where he covered the intelligence community.