Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:KTOS) has announced that their Spectral Services group has begun offering services designed to help government agencies improve their Space Situational Awareness (SSA) by providing additional information about the behavior of satellites in orbit.
Kratos has offered Radio Frequency (RF) monitoring services to government and commercial customers for years, focused mostly on helping those customers resolve interference issues among the satellites they operate. Collected through Kratos’ unique network of sensors and ground facilities located around the world, that same RF data can also help operators understand more about the health, location, attribution, performance and other behavioral factors about satellites, which communicate using RF signals. Kratos does not monitor the content of those signals, only the characteristics of the transmitting waveforms to determine metrics such as directional movement and proximity to other satellites for purposes such as avoiding collisions.
Historically, traditional SSA has relied predominantly on radar and optical sensors (such as telescopes) to learn about satellites and other objects in orbit around the earth. Both have limitations. Radar, for example, can only monitor to a certain altitude and telescopes can only see what is not obscured by weather conditions and are virtually blind against bright sunshine. With the addition of RF signal data, governments and other satellite operators can get a much more complete and consistent SSA picture. This can provide numerous insights, including: detecting payload and other operational changes or anomalies, their origin or cause, and determining the actions of friendly, neutral and adversarial space systems, including the impact of counter-space operations.
While many governments run their own RF monitoring programs for SSA and other purposes, Kratos operates the broadest, most sophisticated commercially-available network of its kind, consisting of a global sensor network, state-of-the-art Network Operations Center (NOC) and advanced, proprietary analytical tools.
Kratos’ sensor network currently consists of 21 worldwide sites hosting more than 80 fixed and steerable sensors and antennas in C, Ku, L, X and S bands, with additional coverage coming. The Kratos NOC incorporates automated workflows, tasking, and visualization that support Kratos’ dedicated workforce skilled in RF spectrum management and SSA techniques. These professionals and data scientists employ advanced analytics and AI tools to process the raw data for enhanced real-time awareness, predictive insights, historical trending, patterns of life and other important applications and decision-making. Fused and correlated with data from optical, radar, terrestrial and space-based sensors, Kratos services can support more timely, accurate and complete SSA.
Kratos currently counts the U.S. government and many of the world’s largest commercial satellite operators as customers for its Spectral Services, who rely on Kratos for basic RF monitoring as well as filling the gaps in their own monitoring efforts. Kratos’ new SSA services are available by subscription or on-demand spanning interference, bandwidth utilization, and correlative and predictive analytics.
Visit Kratos in booth #503 at the 34th Space Symposium at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 16-19, 2018.