What data is shared?

Data sharing is defined by the type of service:

  • Third-party access to data (Enhanced Services only is strictly controlled and determined by the SDA)
  • All members must participate in points of contact and conjunction assessment but can choose whether to participate in other services
  • Participation in a service requires the member to provide associated data

What are the key system features?

  • A diversely hosted system with globally distributed tertiary redundancy for high availability and to encourage global participation
  • Data protection through use of high-level security systems and protocols
  • Robust administration and system auditing processes
  • Validation of contributed data and results to minimize errors
  • Ease of access for authorized users coupled with robust and strictly administered access procedures

What can/can’t the data be used for?

SDC-permitted uses:

  • Operational support, including safety of flight
  • EMI/RFI resolution of actual harmful interference, including at ITU
  • Support for insurance underwriting
  • As legally required by national regulatory authorities

SDC-prohibited uses:

  • Any commercial purpose (sales, planning, marketing, etc.)
  • Securing orbital-spectrum rights
  • Transmittal to third parties (except for safety of flight)
  • Any other use that is not a permitted use

These conditions are enforced by the legally binding agreements.

How will the SDA be funded?

To date, the majority of the costs have been funded by the Executive Members (SES, Intelsat, Inmarsat and Eutelsat), and lately supplemented by member contributions that are a low flat fee for the first year. Future funding will be agreed upon by the SDA executive members on a cost-sharing basis. Funding will be at a level to ensure a cash-positive balance, though not-for-profit, and will anticipate future development.

What are the next steps?

The SDC has now achieved full operational capability (FOC), and we are seeking satellite operators to join as Standard Members.

What is the difference between SOCRATES-GEO and SDA?

During initial operating capabilities, there is no difference between the SDA/SDC and Socrates-GEO. After full operating capabilities, which will take place in the first quarter of 2011, the SDA’s data center will offer greater capability including:

  • RFI mitigation support
  • Avoidance maneuver planning
  • On-demand conjunction analysis
  • Enabled Web services, which allows interaction with the SDC in more ways

How do I join?

To gain the benefits of the Space Data Association, sign up online or email us at

Who can join the SDA?

SDA membership is open to all owners and operators responsible for the control and operations of in-orbit satellites. Join today!

SDA members receive secure access to accurate information, trusted assessments with transparent processes, validated techniques and diverse data sources.