Parsons Selected by NOAA as System Integrator for Traffic Coordination System for Space

Parsons Selected by NOAA as System Integrator for Traffic Coordination System for Space

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the award of a $15.5 million one-year base value contract to Parsons Corporation of Chantilly, Virginia, for system integration and cloud management services for the Traffic Coordination System for Space (TraCSS). NOAA’s Office of Space Commerce (OSC) is developing TraCSS as a modern, cloud-based IT system that will provide space situational awareness (SSA) and space traffic coordination (STC) services to private and civil space operators. 

Such services are essential for global spaceflight safety and the long-term sustainability of the space environment for commercial, civil, national security, and international uses. As the system integrator, Parsons will develop the software backbone for the operational TraCSS platform, including the SSA data repository (TraCSS-OASIS) and the application layer (TraCSS-SKYLINE). The company will integrate containerized, third-party software components from commercial companies into TraCSS. Following an agile development approach, the company will build the basic infrastructure for the TraCSS system that will allow continuous improvement and evolution to react to changing TraCSS mission needs. The company’s role also encompasses management of cloud services, cybersecurity protection, and system administration for TraCSS operations.

“The Commerce Department continues to make major strides in the execution of our space situational awareness program,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “This contract award demonstrates our commitment to leverage best-of-breed, commercial innovation to achieve our ambitious timelines and objectives for TraCSS.”

NOAA has decades of experience fielding operational, public safety systems that issue hazard alerts to protect lives and property,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “We are applying that experience to the development of TraCSS.”

“We look forward to leveraging Parsons’ expertise across the national security sector and our operational experience in space domain awareness supporting flight safety of all active satellites on orbit to support the Office of Space Commerce as it takes over this crucial mission from the Department of Defense. By strengthening the collaboration between industry, the government, and other TraCSS mission partners, we will establish a world-class system that safeguards vital space assets in a challenging, contested, and competitive environment,” said Carey Smith, chair, president, and chief executive officer for Parsons.

The contract has a one-year base value of $15,534,379, with one option to extend for another year for a maximum potential value of $26,883,047. The award to Parsons represents OSC’s second major acquisition for the infrastructure components of the operational TraCSS system. The first was a task order awarded to AWS in August 2023 to establish the secure cloud computing infrastructure to host TraCSS. In October 2023, OSC issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the third major TraCSS acquisition — the provision of a presentation layer that will provide the user interface to display and access SSA data and services. NOAA is currently conducting market research for the TraCSS presentation layer.

In advance of the operational TraCSS, OSC has also initiated several pathfinder projects, including the ongoing Consolidated Pathfinder, focusing on how commercial SSA capabilities can be tested and integrated by the government. OSC also entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with SpaceX to assess their software for automating collision avoidance in satellite constellations.

On March 5, 2024, Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves issued an Authority to Proceed memorandum for Phase 1 of the TraCSS program. OSC plans to achieve Phase 1.0 of TraCSS initial operations by the end of the Fiscal Year 2024.

NOAA’s Office of Space Commerce is the principal unit for the coordination of commercial space-related issues, programs and initiatives within the Department of Commerce. Its mission is to foster the conditions for the economic growth and technological advancement of the U.S. commercial space industry. Per Space Policy Directive-3, OSC is taking over responsibility from the Department of Defense for the provision of basic SSA data and STC services to commercial and civil space operators.

Click here to learn more about Parson's Cloud Management Services.

Click here to learn more about NOAA's Traffic Coordination System for Space (TraCSS).


Publisher: SatNow
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