The SPADOC system reached the end of its planned service life. The U.S. Air Force is planning to replace it with modern systems that will simplify operations and provide greater space situational awareness and collision avoidance capabilities. However, the new system won't come online for several years.
Raytheon and AFLCMC decided to emulate SPADOC's capabilities with modern computer hardware. The new emulated environment, SPADOC Emulation Analysis Risk Reduction, known as SPEARR, is designed to provide a more sustainable system that requires less maintenance. The new hardware will provide the same functionality as today's system, making it easy to learn and operate.
Additional benefits are significant reductions in power and cooling consumption. Most of these reductions are because all of SPADOC's capabilities are now integrated into two small server racks instead of spread over 1,000 square feet of an aging, analog computer system.
Dave Fuino, program director for Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, said that within just a few months, the company brought together a team, developed the technology to modernize it, got it on contract and held a series of demos to prove it worked. The company went from concept to proving the solution in less than a year, which is really remarkable. Between the experience of the company's NORAD teammates, a.i. solutions, Zivaro and E&M Technologies, and leading emulation companies Fundamental Software and M2 Technologies, Raytheon addressed the aging SPADOC system — this is a game changer.
Bob Taylor, U.S. Air Force Legacy Space Branch chief, added that at the same time, the obsolescence risk of an aging SPADOC system be addressed, so a really innovative, modern solution to this problem was developed. Proven emulation technology was used to help solve this challenge, significantly reducing obsolescence risk. Innovations in programmatic and technical approaches drove a smarter, better and faster solution. The next step is to evaluate options for fielding SPEARR.