Space-debris system to get an upgrade from USAF, Raytheon consortium

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and a consortium of technology firms led by Raytheon have joined forces to modernize and simplify the aging Space Defense Operations Center, a 1990s-era system that tracks and monitors space debris.

As the SPADOC system reached the end of its planned service life, 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 -- will simplify operations and enable greater space situational awareness and collision-avoidance capabilities. Additionally, say authorities, SPEARR will bring significant reductions in power and cooling consumption, most of which will be realized 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.

The new system will take several years to become operational.