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Canada, US extend space data sharing

The Department of National Defence has signed a long-term partnership with U.S. Strategic Command that updates an accord permitting the exchange of advanced space situational awareness data.

The agreement, announced last week, was signed in late December and “streamlines the process by which the Canadian military requests SSA data from Strategic Command’s Joint Space Operations Center for things like satellite maneuver planning, collision avoidance and anomaly resolution,” according to a press release.

The U.S. government has similar bilateral SSA data sharing accords with Australia, Italy and Japan and is working on one with France.

In a statement, DND said “the Canadian Armed Forces rely on space for a wide-range of functions such as command and control, weather information, navigation, communications, mapping, and search and rescue. Space Situational Awareness provides the knowledge to ensure the availability of space-enabled capabilities that have become essential to the conduct of CAF operations. The sharing of information between like-minded nations, such as Canada and the U.S., has been a key enabler to increasing our understanding of, and access to, advanced orbital information. National Defence has used this relationship to provide support to the Government of Canada, the Canadian Space Agency, and Canadian commercial satellite owner/operators.”

The department said the argeement would permit the Canadian Space Operations Centre “to coordinate and share unclassified information and data in support of government agencies,” including: resolution of abnormal conditions affecting Canadian owned/operated satellites; provision of warning messages and predicted times of atmospheric re-entry points; provision of assistance to determine possible root cause of satellite interference; and provision of analyses to avoid collisions between satellites and space debris.

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