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Categories: 2019, Mission Assurance

Contribution of Commercial Small Satellites to Space Domain Mission Assurance

The 2015 Space Mission Assurance Taxonomy defines the OSD Policy perspective on Space Domain Mission Assurance (SDMA) for critical national security space (NSS) assets. The document classifies three approaches to Mission Assurance for NSS systems: Defensive Operations, Reconstitution, and Resilience, which is further separated into six sub-elements. Since its publication, the Taxonomy has gained wide acceptance as a framework for evaluating the ability of NSS missions to continue to operate in the face of an increasingly capable threat environment. What is less well understood is the contribution of commercial space systems, and in particular small satellite or “Space 2.0” constellations, to the mission assurance of the overall US space enterprise. Often the conversation around commercial systems will begin and end with a nod towards Disaggregation, a term which is sometimes misapplied to cover other effects. In fact, commercial space systems contribute to each aspect of the Mission Assurance Taxonomy, and understanding their impacts is crucial to formulating an overall strategy for the US and its operations in a competitive, contested, and congested space environment. This paper presents a qualitative assessment of the impact of commercial space systems on each element of SDMA and recommends a path forward for a quantitative follow-on study.

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Author: James Doggett
Topic: Mission Assurance

  • Paper Dogget, James - Evaluating Commercial Contributions to Space Domain Mission Assurance .pdf

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  • Presentation Doggett, James - Contribution of Commercial Small Satellites to Space Domain Mission Assurance.pdf

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