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New FAA Tech Tracks Space Launches, Reentries; Administrator Steve Dickson Quoted

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The Federal Aviation Administration now has a prototype tool designed to help the agency track space launches and reentries at speeds close to real-time.

FAA said Thursday its Space Data Integrator (SDI) delivers telemetry data to the agency's Air Traffic Control System Command Center in an automated fashion. This telemetry data includes a vehicle's altitude, speed, position and trajectory changes.

SDI boosts FAA's situational awareness of the national airspace system and also has the potential to support air traffic management activities. The agency expects SDI to minimize the impact of space launches on other activities happening in U.S. airspace.

“With this capability, we will be able to safely reopen the airspace more quickly and reduce the number of aircraft and other airspace users affected by a launch or reentry," said Steve Dickson, FAA administrator.