In a partnership with U.S. Air Force (USAF) Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), a Raytheon-led consortium is working to modernize a space debris tracking and monitoring system formally known as Space Defense Operations Center (SPADOC).

SPADOC is a legacy system that has been around since the 1990s and has since reached the end of its planned service life. The USAF hopes the new modernized system will “simplify operations and enable greater space situational awareness and collision avoidance capabilities.” The new system isn’t expected to come online for several years, according to a Raytheon press release.

“SPADOC provides critical space-tracking capabilities that we must sustain and maintain while we wait for new systems to come online,” said U.S. Air Force Legacy Space Branch chief Bob Taylor. “At the same time, it’s critical that we address the obsolescence risk of an aging SPADOC system.”

Raytheon and AFLCMC plan to use more modern computer hardware in the modernization process while still emulating SPADOC’s functionality and capabilities. The new emulated environment—SPADOC Emulation Analysis Risk Reduction (SPEARR)—will require less maintenance, reduce power and cooling consumption, and is designed to be more sustainable.

“We used proven emulation technology to help solve our challenge, significantly reducing obsolescence risk. Innovations in programmatic and technical approaches drove a smarter, better, and faster solution,” Taylor said.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.