The Space Object Ontology

In 19th International Conference on Information Fusion (FUSION 2016). IEEE (2016)
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Achieving space domain awareness requires the identification, characterization, and tracking of space objects. Storing and leveraging associated space object data for purposes such as hostile threat assessment, object identification, and collision prediction and avoidance present further challenges. Space objects are characterized according to a variety of parameters including their identifiers, design specifications, components, subsystems, capabilities, vulnerabilities, origins, missions, orbital elements, patterns of life, processes, operational statuses, and associated persons, organizations, or nations. The Space Object Ontology provides a consensus-based realist framework for formulating such characterizations in a computable fashion. Space object data are aligned with classes and relations in the Space Object Ontology and stored in a dynamically updated Resource Description Framework triple store, which can be queried to support space domain awareness and the needs of spacecraft operators. This paper presents the core of the Space Object Ontology, discusses its advantages over other approaches to space object classification, and demonstrates its ability to combine diverse sets of data from multiple sources within an expandable framework. Finally, we show how the ontology provides benefits for enhancing and maintaining longterm space domain awareness.

Author's Profile

Barry Smith
University at Buffalo


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